Colinas del Itata Old Vine Field Blend Muscat Corinto 2014, Chile
€14.99 from Marks & Spencer
This blend of Muscat and the unknown Corinto grape is exotic and intensely perfumed, with intriguing spicy fruit and a dry finish. Lovely wine.
Drink as an aperitif or with lighter salads. Perfect on a summer’s evening.
New World should mean new, right? Yet this wine is made from a vineyard that is no less than 110 years old, from a region where grapes have been grown since 1551. Some of the first settlers (or invaders really) planted vines in Itata, 500 kilometres south of what is now Santiago. They needed wine for the Sacrament. In recent years, a small group of producers rediscovered the ancient dry-farmed vines in this region, and have started to make some very exciting wines. This is a lovely wine, and a fascinating piece of history for just €15.
We drank these two wines for dinner last night, both from lesser-known regions.Both were very good.
Burja Bela 2010, Vipava, Slovenia
Lovely complex ripe fruits, softly textured with a touch of orange peel and a savoury finish with good mineral acidity.
I first came across this wine at a Slovenian wine tasting in Dublin a few years ago; I think it was actually the same vintage. Primož Lavrenčič of Burja estate is a believer in natural wine, made with as little intervention as possible. He farms biodynamically and uses only local grape varieties. In this wine he blends 30% Rebula, 30% Malvasia, 30% Riesling Italico, and 10% Zelen. Despite, or possibly because of its age, the wine is drinking beautifully. Not cheap though at €27.50 – certainly from Sheridans, and probably Green Man Wines in Terenure, they being very keen on natural wines.
De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault 2014
D.O. Secano Interior/Colemu, Chile
A very interesting and enjoyable wine; a strange mix of red cherry and canned strawberries with an earthy note, and some light tannins on the finish. 13% alcohol and almost Beaujolais-like at times in its weight.
This is made from unirrigated old vines down in the Itata Valley in Chile. It was part of a tasting of wines from this region for a forthcoming article in the Irish Times. It sells for €17.99; I am still waiting for a list of stockists.