Posts Tagged ‘Valle de Maule’

The Brilliant 2010 Clos Ouvert, Primavera, Secano, Valle de Maule

September 30, 2016 Leave a comment

After a particularly unpleasing bottle of 2014 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Pais de Yumbel, a bit spritzy and high-toned as if it did not survive unsulphured transit, I was exceedingly pleased by a bottle of 2010 Clos Ouvert, Primavera, Secano, Valle de Maule.    It was four years ago that Phil first introduced me to the wines of Louis-Antoine Luyt and indeed the first time I tried this vintage of Primavera.  Those four years have transformed this into a complex, attractive, and engaging wine.  My brother-in-law and I finished the bottle before we left the dinner table.  Need I write more? This wine was available at MacArthur Beverages.


2010 Clos Ouvert, Primavera, Secano, Valle de Maule
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  The nose is complex with aromas of leather and mulberry with bright berries breaking through.  In the mouth the juicy acidity immediately carries cedar and leather notes.  The wood box flavors complement the red and blue fruit evocative of a maturing Bordeaux.  There are still very fine drying tannins in the finish which is also when the flavors become drier.  It is like a hypothetical mash-up of a brighter, orange-citrus and red fruited claret.  **** Now – 2020.

Highs and Lows from Louis-Antoine Luyt

September 5, 2014 Leave a comment

The wines of Louis-Antoine Luyt can provide an experience that no other wine from Chile can.  The 2012 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Carignan, Trequilemu, Maule is one such example.  This was clearly not fined for the fine sediment dusted the neck of the bottle.  The lack of fining let every component contribute to this wine.  It was strongly aromatic and flavorful, immediately engaging in a way untypical for Carignan.  I had high hopes for the 2011 Louis-Antoine Luyt, El Pais de Quenenhuao, Maule which Erin Scala recently wrote about in her post Uvahuasa, El Pais de Quenenhuao 2001 (Cauquenes, Chile).  On the first night, my bottle was fairly tight with prominent spritz, an odd but enjoyable popcorn note, and that dreaded hint of Pilsner beer.  I saved the rest for the second night to let the flavors expand.  Instead, the spritz had disappeared but the wine became piercingly high-toned with prominent popcorn and Pilsner beer flavors.  It had self-destructed.  This was my first bad experience with Luyt’s wines so while important to note, do not let it put you off from trying his wine.  These wines were purchased at Weygandt Wines.


2012 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Carignan, Trequilemu, Maule – $28
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There were lovely aromas of earthy berries and musk.  In the mouth the red fruit was balanced by both citric tartness and weight.  The harmonious citric flavors and tannins moved on to a long, earthy and tart aftertaste.  A wine to smell and drink.  *** Now-2018.


2011 Louis-Antoine Luyt, El Pais de Quenenhuao, Maule – $28
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 12.9%.   There were high-toned, unripe raspberry aromas.  The mouth showed a fair amount of spritz followed by a right core of tart red fruit.  There were notes of popcorn and a hint of Pilsner beer.  The second night there was wood polish on the nose followed by unpalatable flavors of Pilsner beer and a popcorn aftertaste.  Flawed/Poor.


The Pure Aromas of 2013 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Caquenes Cinsault

July 30, 2014 2 comments

It was almost two years ago that I first tasted The Wines of Louis-Antoine Luyt.  While I have drunk several bottles since then, I must admit I have not tried any new vintages in the meantime.  The 2013 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Caquenes Cinsault, Coelemu revealed beautiful aromas that were more generous than the flavors in the mouth.  The aromas of delicate red berries and flowers will crush any conception of what Chilean wine smells like.  I recommend you grab a few bottles to surprise your friends.  Just make sure to hold on to let several develop through the winter. This wine is available at Weygandt Wines.


2013 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Caquenes Cinsault, Coelemu – $25
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 14%.  There were pure aromas of delicate red berries that became floral with air.  Lovely.  In the mouth the delicate red berries continued with a strawberry note, watering acidity, and a little structure.  The nose opened more compared to the flavors.  These developed a combination of strawberry and vintage perfume.  *** Now-2019.


Very Old Vines and Old Tinajas

September 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Just a quick, belated post for today.  The wines of Louis-Antoine Luyt continue to define a new style of Chilean wine for me, including the 2010 Luyt, Huasa de Pilen Alto featured below.  To this group I would add the 2012 De Martino, Viejas Tinajas which is minimally produced in rather old earthenware tinajas.  Whereas the Luyt was a little earthy and animale the De Martino was more clean and delicate with its red fruit.  Try them both! These wines were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.


2010 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Huasa de Pilen Alto, Maule – $23
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Pais sourced from 180 year old vines located on soils of clay and decomposed granite at 580 meters produced using carbonic maceration.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose was earthy with a little pepper note.  The mouth follows the noe with tart red fruit that mixes with citrus.  The flavors were dry with acidity on the tongue and a woodsy note in the finish.  With air there was a hint of raciness, a little ethereal flavor, and brighter red fruit.  It was a little animale with grapey tannins and a hint of yeast.  *** Now-2014.


2012 De Martino, Cinsault, Viejas Tinajas, Secano Interior – $24
Imported by Opici Wines.  This wine is 100% Cinsault from old bush vines on granite soils fermented with indigenous yeasts in 100-year old earthen ware amphora.  No pumps are used to remove the wine from the tinajas.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose was of red strawberries.  In the mouth the red fruit showed some hard candy and a good, ripe core.  There was watering acidity, inky notes, and a generally cool aspect.  There were moderate and ripe tannins in the structure, some levity, and it eventually developed approachable notes of baking spices.  This was best after one hour of air.  *** Now-2015.Chile3

The Wines of Louis-Antoine Luyt

October 8, 2012 2 comments

A week ago we drank four different Chilean wines by Louis-Antoine Luyt.  These were fun wines to taste.  I might have my preferences for current drinking but I want to start by suggesting you buy all four wines.  They are each unique, clearly exist with a purpose, and will surely change how you view Chilean wine.

Carignan for Primavera, the Comavida Parcel, Image from Clos Ouvert

The fruit for Louis-Antoine’s wines are literally rooted in over three centuries of history.  The grape vine is not indigenous to Chile and was first brought over in 1548 by Francisco de Carabantes.  Just three years later the first recorded vintage in Chile took place.  By the 1640s grapes were so abundant that they could not be disposed of.

Ovalle, in his History of Chili, says that grapes were so plentiful in 1646, that they could not be disposed of… White wines were made from that species of grape called Uba Torrontes and Albilla which were much valued; red wines were made from the ordinary grape and a species called Mollar.  The bunches of grapes, he says, were enormously large; and he mentions one that filled a basket, and served as a meal for a numerous convent of friars. The branches of the vine he describes as very large, and the trunks of the trees as thick as a man’s body.

Morewood, Samuel.  A Philosophical and Statistical History of the Inventions and Customs of Ancient and Modern Nations in the Manufacture and Use of Inebriating Liquors.  Dublin: William Curry, Jun. and Company, 1838. pp 307-308.

Louis-Antoine’s oldest vines have roots dating from 120 years back to 350 years or 1660.  These vines are of the Pais varietal, also known as Mollar, which is a clonal variation of Listan Negro.  Listan Negro is a Spanish varietal which was brought over from the Canary Islands by the Spanish missionaries.  The vineyards in Chile do not suffer downy mildew nor phylloxera.  As we have seen with the ancient Assyrtiko vines of Santorini, the old roots will live for centuries.  The vines are periodically cut off at the base and a new vine regenerates.  Perhaps the combination of abundant vines along with pest and disease free soils allowed such old vines to survive into the 21st century.

Argentina Cile Uruguay, Instituto Geographico di Agostini, 1952, Image from David Rumsey Map Collection

Louis-Antoine also produces wine from vines dating back 100 years.  These are of varietals such as Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Syrah.  In the 1840s French varietals were first imported and specialists from Bordeaux and Rioja were brought over as well.  But it was the devastating European phylloxera of the 1870s which brought an influx of winemakers, viticulturalists, and coopers.  Thus over several decades the use of French varietals spread throughout the country.

The wines featured in this post are all made by Louis-Antoine Luyt.  He is a Frenchman who moved to Chile  some 14 years ago.  During his return trips to work French harvests and go to school he met Mathew Lapierre.  Matthew became his mentor and eventually visited Chile with Louis-Antoine.  Together, along with a third-partner, they began the Clos Ouvert project.  The Clos Ouvert wines are produced from parcel Louis-Antoine rents and tends.  In the devastating earthquake of 2010 the entire production of Clos Ouvert was lost and his partners pulled out.  Louis-Antoine decided to continue the label himself.  The Pais wines are made from purchased fruit which highlight specific parcels.  The Louis-Antoine Luyt wines represent “fun wines” which are made from purchased fruit.  For further information I recommend that you start by reading the interview on the Louis/Dressner website.  You may find it here.  For additional images please view the Clos Ouvert website.

In short, these are unique and engaging wine which I recommend you try.  Many thanks to Jules Dressner for answering my questions.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Louis-Antoine Luyt, Carignan, Trequilemu, Secano – $22
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 12.9%.  The color is medium purple, cloud with bits.  The light to medium scented nose is of delicately ripe, red and blue fruit.  In the mouth there is fresh fruit with density, ripe textured flavors, and acidity from the beginning.  There is an earthy hint to dark red fruit with energy coming from the acidity.  There is a lipstick bit along with fresh orange-juice acidity which causes the mouth to water.  *** Now-2017.

2010 Louis-Antoine Luyt, El Pais de Quenehuao, Valle de Maule – $24
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The color is light to medium purple with hints of black cherry.  The nose is of floral red fruit, a hint of grapefruit, and an overall brighter, finer scent.  In the mouth there is pure red fruit with more noticeable structure than the Carignan.  The flavors start with a modest prickle.  There are drying red grapefruit flavors and an overall dry nature by the finish and a drying quality on the cheeks.  This wine shows more tannins.  It develops a note similar to pepper.  *** Now-2015.

2009 Clos Ouvert, Carmenere, Cauquenes, Valle de Maule – $27
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose bears a little greenhouse, floral note.  In the mouth the flavors are lively on the tongue with earthy, bramble fruit.  This wine is minerally with sweet spices and very lifted in the finish and aftertaste.  There is lively acidity, balance throughout, and ripe tannins.  The long aftertaste is a bit racy and earthy.  *** Now-2019.

2010 Clos Ouvert, Primavera, Secano, Valle de Maule – $27
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose is of red fruit, citrus, and a yeast note.  In the mouth there is tight, red brambly fruit which is lively on the tongue.  There are chalky minerals, orange juice acidity, and red concentrated fruit which remained tight over two nights.  This is a structured wine with citric tannins and comes across as the youngest of all four.  *** 2015-2020.