País and Weiss be with you all. Salud and Prost!
Outstanding Wines from Chile and Austria.
Leonardo Erazo “A Los Viñateros Bravos” Volcánico País 2018 Itata (Chile), 12.5%
Some terrific wines, many made from the País grape, are coming out of the Itata area in Chile. And this is one of them.
Colour is quite a light ruby. Aromas of wild strawberries and, I’m told, of the local vegetation. Palate is fresh and light, vibrant, delicate red fruit flavours, touch of spice, distinctive and refreshing, smooth all the way to the finish. The granitic soils have a lot to say and tell here and, perhaps, that is why, or at least one reason, this wine reminds me of a good Beaujolais. A quiet friendly one and Very Highly Recommended.
“A Los Viñateros Bravos” means to the brave vignerons. This is Erazo’s tribute to those the have kept these incredible red vines alive, 100% farmed by hand. Here in the interesting granitic and volcanic soils of Itata, old vines, ungratified, unirrigated, natural low yields, and natural winemaking allow us to show the impact on the wine were the roots are feeding the mother rock.
The first País (also known, particularly in California, as the Mission grape) was brought by the conquistadors in the 1550s and, for centuries, the new locals used it to make wines for themselves. But bit by bit, the big companies began to use the big-name grapes and the ancient imports lost ground. Leonardo Erazo was one who wanted to reverse this trend. He travelled the world for ten years to study wine and then came back and founded A Los Viñateros Bravos.
In Itata, Leonardo has worked with the scattered local farmers’ old vines—many well over 100 years, still growing as dry farmed, untrained small bushes—to enhance their traditional natural practices to align with biodynamic guidelines. His mission, throughout this journey, has been to bring a sense of place into the bottle. Looks like he (and others, such as Pedro Parra) is succeeding.
Beck Weissburgunder Austria 2019, 12.5%
This Austrian Pinot Blanc has a beautiful bright yellow gold colour. Gorgeous inviting aromas too of citrus and white fruits. Strikingly full-bodied and a delicious satisfying harmony between the complex fruit and a refreshing acidity with a hint of spice in there as well. Another outstanding wine from Judith Beck. Very Highly Recommended.
The winery says Weissburgunder is a globally underestimated grape. It is perfectly adapted to the climate and soils around Lake Neusiedl and finds its ideal conditions here. The fruit is picked by hand, and is matured, on the entire lees, for 6 months in used oak casks, so as not to add an oaky flavour and it is fragrant and refreshing.
Since 2007, Judith Beck has produced wines in accordance with biodynamic principles. They say: the focus is on the vine growing. Biodynamics is an art of healing which takes advantage of the holistic curativeness of nature. It aims at strengthening the natural resistance of the plant.The aim is to produce authentic wines with an individual aroma while at the same time maintaining healthy soil and vines.