Super [Duper] Itata Tinto from Chile
Some fantastic, completely original wine comes out of Chile and are made available in Washington, DC from time to time. This short list includes the wines of Louis-Antoine Luyt and Derek Mossman’s Garage Wine Co. I must now include Leo Erazo’s Rogue Wine Co. Leo Erazo is a winemaker and viticulturalist at Altos Las Hormigas in Argentina. The Rogue Wine Co. is a young project with partner Justin Decker that focuses on making wine from the Itata Valley in Chile.
The Itata Valley has been home to vines since the 16th century. Today there are still old dry-farmed, bush vines dating back over 60 years of age. These vines are located on hillsides where the soils are primarily granitic. At Rogue Wine Co., the wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts, only see old wood, a little sulphur, and are not acidity corrected. What you get are complex aromas, black fruit, and crunchy acidity. This is a fresh wine but I cannot help but suspect it will be more relaxed and open come winter time. Be sure to try a bottle now but also squirrel away a few more for later. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2013 Rogue Vine, Super Itata Tinto, Itata Valley – $27
Imported by Brazos Wine Imports. This wine is a blend of 33% Syrah, 33% Malbec, and 33% Carignan that was aged in old barriques. Alcohol 13%. There are complex aromas of smoke, tart black fruit, and vanilla. In the mouth this fresh wine, bears similar black fruit with some wood notes and tangy grip. The flavors are light yet expansive in the mouth. The crunchy acidity is particularly attractive. ***(*) Now – 2020.