2013LuytCarignan2013 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Carignan, Cuvee Mathilde, Sin Riego-Rio Reloca, Chile.
French natural winemaker, Louis-Antoine Luyt, former assistant at Marcel Lapierre, has turned his wines from a fun curiosity to some ultra serious stuff in a few short years, and this 2013 Carignan from ancient vines is by far the best and most exciting yet. Luyt has built up quite an impressive collection, he makes a few different lines of wines, lots made from 200 to 300 year old Pais (Mission Grape) vines, a Carmenere, a Pinot Noir and this gorgeous and vibrant Carignan. All organic vines, native yeasts and ultra low if not no sulphur, with good extraction and bright flavors make Luyt’s wines stand out and they have created a lot of buzz, making him the Natural Wine guru of South America. This ripe, dark and rich 2013 Carignan, 13.9% alcohol, bursts from the glass with an array of floral tones, loamy earth, mineral and a mix of spice and dark fruits leading to a medium/full palate of blackberry, pomegranate, sugar beet, raspberry, wild strawberry and plum along with tangy peach, pepper, minty herbs, truffle and cedar notes with baking spices, anise and gravelly/stony elements. There is no question the terroir plays a huge role here, the sandy soils west of Andres and unique climate all play a part here along with these 150 year vines, this is a vivid and sexy expression of what can be done in Chile, other than cheap Merlot and Cabernet, and this wine in particular is thrilling stuff, drink from 2015 to 2020.
($25 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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