Wine Spectrum #10 Wine of 2017
Carmenere | Chile | Wine Spectrum 95+
Extraordinary intensity, dark brooding fruit balanced elegant round tannins and a fresh mineralogy on the finish. Black licorice and earthy notes throughout. Delicious.
About The Producer:
A revolution has been going on at De Martino since the 2011 vintage. You might as well forget what they were doing before; you can consider them born again or a completely new winery. They are an old family operation whose current motto is “Reinventing Chile,” and a lot of what they are doing is not “inventing” anything, but rather looking back at reliable old traditions, unearthing old dry-farmed vineyards planted in the past, and producing wines that reflect their origin, without any makeup. At the end of 2011, they decided to stop buying new barrels and only manage and reuse the ones they own. They purchased large (5,000-liter) oval-shaped oak foudres from Austria, and use them to age all their single vineyard wines. They also bought old tinajas (140 of them), terracotta amphorae, most of them over 100 years old, for a new line of wines. They produce a total of 1.5 million bottles and cultivate 270 hectares of vineyards (all of them un-grafted). They also source grapes from small producers as they produce wines from all over Chile. They do not use external yeast or any other products in their wines. They harvest early and do not wait for phenol ripeness, because they want vibrant wines, harvesting instead when the skin is ready. The magic word is balance. None of their wines are above 14% alcohol. The local market is reacting well to their new direction, and the company is now even selling small quantities in Spain, which is virtually unheard of for wines from South America.