Grapelive: Wine of the Day September 29, 2015

2014LuytCruchon2014 Louis Antoine Luyt “Cruchon” Pinot Noir, Coteaux de Trumao, Valle del Bueno, Chile.
The Cruchon Pinot Noir by Frenchman Louis Antoine Luyt is from old vines of Massale Selection, these are a mix of original old Burgundy clones thought to have been brought to Chile in the mid 1800’s, and this all natural wine is a light and flavorful treat. Luyt is working with a collection of growers throughout Chile, and he is most interested in the ancient Mission Grape plantings that can be around 300 years old and counting, the Mission Grape, called Pais in Chile and known as Listan Prieto, which seems certain to have come from Spain, though may in fact be either related to a Greek grape or maybe a grape that was at home in north Africa. It seems that Listan Prieto is different even from the Listan Negro found on the Canary Islands, also thought to be a Mission Grape, that it in fact is a separate vine all together. Luyt himself, worked at famous Beaujolais producer Lapierre and is a passionate Natural Wine advocate, his wines are organic, raw and terroir driven with low alcohol and fresh transparent flavors, though they can show a mix of earth and funk, especially when young, though they tend to clear up and get deeper with a few years in bottle. The Cruchon Pinot Noir is one of his newest wines in Chile, where he has found a welcoming home, it shows delicacy and bright red fruits with mineral tones and savory spices, the 2014 version is the best yet, as it has more character and pretty layers of cherry, strawberry and peachy fruit with hints of plum, briar, truffle, wild herbs, rhubarb and earthy cranberry. The Cruchon comes in at 11.5% and has a soft ruby hue, it feels more like a Fleurie Beaujolais than a Bourgogne and while youthful and tangy, it should gain a bit of weight and complexity in the bottle and the finish is quite impressive for such a light wine. The tannins are faint and silky, while the acidity is driving and vibrant, which makes this subtle and delightful wine seem almost Rose like at this stage, though it does deepen in feel with air and cuisine, give it a short time in the cellar, best from 2016 to 2019, this is a wine with unique charms and will elicit both raves and a few boos, be your own judge, I found a hint of intrigue and was left delighted. Luyt’s must try offerings include his Carignan “Legno Duro” and Pais de Quenehuao, as well as his fun Pipeno line made also from 200 to 300 year old Pais vines!
($42 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive