2019 Via Revolucionaria La Criolla Grande
Region: Uco Valley < Mendoza < Argentina
Grapes: Criolla Grande (aka Mission/Pais)
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic, dry-farmed, high-altitude single vineyard on alluvial soil; macerated on stems then fermented in a concrete egg, with some carbonic happening; bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero added SO2; 10.5% ABV
Winemaker: Matias Michelini
Amphora, whole cluster, zero-zero (as in no added anything, including SO2) – this is extreme natural juice, by anyone’s standards, and completely revolutionary coming from Argentina, where industrially-produced bulk wine dominates. It’s why we love Matias Michelini – he’s a bad boy, a maverick who has no time for convention or rules because he is too busy making experimental (but consistently clean and awesome) wines with his series of micro-projects showcasing unique terroirs in Argentina and Chile. We featured his carbonic JiJiJI Pinot/Malbec blend in past years, as well as his carbo Malbec.
Now we’re back with this light, fresh juicy Criolla Grande, born of wedlock between Criolla Chica (aka Listán Prieto/Mission/Pais) and Muscat of Alexandria. Bright and translucent cherry in color, this baby looks like a dark rosé, but is in fact an ethereal red from a grape that has thick, pink skin and softer tannins than its Chilean cousin, Pais. This is pure Chilean glou glou, dangerously drinkable (only 10.5% alcohol – practically a juice box!) And it’s squeaky clean, despite having not a drop of anything added or taken away. Nothing but bright, juicy, cherry/tart raspberry, earthy goodness. SERVE LIGHTLY CHILLED.