2011LuytPais2011 Louis-Antoine Luyt, El Pais de Quenehuao, Chile.
This exciting and unique Chilean wine is made by Louis-Antoine Luyt, a young natural winemaker using the Misson Grape, from 250-300 year old vines, also known as Listan Prieto or Pais de Quenehuao locally, these vines are on original roots and re-started with old school pruning techniques, but have never had to have been re-planted since the Spanish Mission days. This is a wine that brings us a first taste of what wine in the new world first tasted like, and while winemaking, natural and otherwise is far better than it was, this provides an interesting glimpse back into wine history, and a tasty one at that! Luyt is crafting some intriguing wines and is a rising star, he is showcasing varietal and terroir that hasn’t been seen much in imported wine from Chile in my generation, these are wines of unique character and style, crafted in small lots and done with passion and integrity. The Pais de Quenehuao 2011 is bright, tangy and vivid red wine with cherry, plum and blueberry fruit, along with zesty acidity, mineral tones, sweet herbs and exotic spices. Luyt says the clusters were affected by the massive earthquake that hit Chile in 2011, he believes the wine itself is reflecting that big shake and tastes different than other vintages, this is truly a wine that transmits the heart of it’s place. Luyt used whole cluster with a light pressing, this leaves a bit of structure and allows a more upfront fruitiness to show through according to his line of thinking, he also says this vintage is more about early drinking, thinking it should be enjoyed in it’s 2-5 year life ahead, I think it is delicious now and that it should drink with grace for about 5 years. There is a pomegranate, red peach and strawberry aftertaste that I really enjoy here and I think this is a fun and totally cool wild and wacky appealing wine. This wine is a rarity and will be hard to locate, but be sure to ask your merchant to get some, imported by Farm Wines, California. Also be sure the more easily found Luyt Carignan 2012 from Chile as well, this is another gem from this quality producer.
($20 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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