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Matias Michelini is perhaps Argentina's most
Eduardo Soler started Ver Sacrum after a visit to the Gredos mountains of Spain, where he fell in love with mountainous styles of Grenache. He decided to make high-altitude, low-alcohol, lighter wines - not what consumers think of when they think of Argentina. This is a pretty, mineral-driven Grenache, still with the classic dense strawberry compote fruit character of the variety, but including a nice minerality and a finish redolent of a fistful of fresh Provencal herbs. This wine has fantastic concentration for being so light, and will pair with all manner of partygoing. Andrew Farquhar
This Pais from the Maule valley south of Santiago is from a single vineyard planted over 200 years ago by the ancestors of the current winemaker Jose Luis Bastias. The grapes are pressed by hand over a "Zaranda," a traditional bamboo sieve, and then fermented in cement and aged in the family's old casks made from Rauli beech, a species native to Chile and the traditional method of aging. This wine has an incredible herbal nose. "Matorral" is the name for the main ecoregion in temperate Chile, a low, xeric shrubland of herbs and hardy bushes most of which are not found outside Chile. Thus, this wine has it's own, Chilean style of "garrigue", a sweet and sour, heady, intense, and pleasantly alien herbal character that comes from the native plants surrounding the vineyard. Wed to a dense dried plum character, this is a truly original style of wine from the of the oldest ungrafted vines in the world. Andrew Farquhar
This wine speaks herbal volumes, tasting as only a wine could taste coming from the Itata Valley's xeric Matorral scrubland. A blend of País, brought by the conquistadors for use in the Catholic Sacrament in New Spain, and Cinsault, planted after an historic earthquake in 1939. Chile has yet to be scourged by phylloxera, and the young vines in Itata are those bush-trained Cinsault vines that are 80 years old. The País vines have some of them lived for centuries, delving deeply into the firm granitic bedrock that provides these wines their funky grip, their texture of serenity. Bright and soft, with light, silky tannins and lush minerality, this wine has a mouthwatering herbal character, somewhere between rosemary and mint, with a dash of finely-fluted pomegranate red fruit character. These vines are all dry-farmed and sustainably grown, the wines spontaneously-fermented, basket-pressed, and delicious! Andrew Farquhar