Pipeño País Pichihuedque
Farmer: Miguel Alvear. 100% Pais from old, organic, dry-farmed bush vines around 250 years old on deep clay soils over granite, in the Pichihuedque sub-zone of the Maule region. Louis Antoine admits that this is favorite terroir. The bunches are harvested by hand and manually destemmed using a traditional zaranda; fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts in open wooden lagares; and aged for a brief two months in large wooden tanks called pipas (from which the name “pipeño” is derived). The wine receives a very small amount of sulfur and a gentle filtration before bottling in liters.
Pichihuedque is a little fuller-bodied and more tannic versus Portezuelo (and less so compared to Coronel del Maule or Carrizal), with dried-cranberry fruit character and a warm, sweet, baking-spice finish. There is a warm, dark, almost but not quite jammy feel to the wine.