Grapelive: Wine of the Day June 29, 2017

2015 Pedro Parra y Familia, Cinsault, Imaginador, Itata, Chile.
Pedro Parra is “Doctor Dirt” with his passion and PhD in Terroir he is one of the most interesting winemakers and consultants in the wine world, so it was a thrill to taste his wine and try to pick out the influence of soil in it. His love of granite based soils is on full display in his Cinsault Imaginador from close to his hometown in Chile, Itata Valley is not far from Concepcion and is one of the oldest wine regions in the new world, first planted by Spanish explorers and missionaries in the 1500’s. Itata still has 200 and 300 year old vines of Pais (Listan Prieto) as well as French varietals that came in the 1800’s and later, it’s a rather cool area of sloping granite/loam hillsides with head trained vines, it is seeing a revival and some authentic and exciting wines are making their way to us with offerings from Frenchman Louis-Antoine Luyt and Chilean Pedro Parra leading the way, crafting intriguing natural/earthy wines. The Parra Cinsualt Imagindor is a medium bodied red that starts with a touch of reduction before opening up to racy red fruits, spice and earthy tones showing a bright unfiltered ruby/garnet hue in the glass as well as a floral/mineral bouquet. With time to open there is a lot to love and enjoy in this delicious wine with plum, dark cherry and bramble berry leading on the palate as well as dried lilac, lavender, flinty/dusty stones, shaved fennel, porcini/truffle, burnt orange and leathery notes. Cinsault is seeing some prime time, especially in South Africa, but also in it’s native France, California/Washington State and here in Chile, it’s usually used for blending in the Rhone, Languedoc and Provence and is found in dry Rose wines as well. If you don’t mind a touch of funk and want to taste unique terroir driven wines from Chile, you’ll want to track down these Pedro Parra wines, they are imported by The Source Imports, they are wines to drink young and fresh, and offers a new view of Chilean wines that deserve attention.
($27 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive