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A full-bodied red from a grape known for pairing acidity and tannins. Carignan is a grape common in the Mediterrean regions of France and Spain and was brought to Chile with the earliest Spanish settlers. The quality of grapes from Carignan vines increases as the plant gets older, and some of the oldest is to be found in Chile where phylloxera was never an issue. Dry farmed with any irrigation, native yeast fermentation, no filtering and very little sulfur added if any.
From the mouth of the importer (Skurnik):
"Located in the Maule Valley, about 300 km south of Santiago, Viña Maitia makes Vinos de Autoros – something like “artisanal wines” – and is operated by the husband and wife team of David Marcel, a French/Basque vigneron, and Loreta Garau, a Chilean enologist. The Maule Valley stands out from Chile’s more established regions by getting so much winter rain, winegrowers can eschew irrigation and “dry farm” their vineyards. In addition, cool air flows up the Maule River from the Pacific Ocean, holding down the summer highs, extending the growing season and allowing for wines with bright, fresh acidity. But David and Loreta discovered something else when they bought their land: old vines – Pais, Carignane and Malbec planted, in some cases, well over 150 years ago. Because Pais (aka the Mission grape brought over by Spanish missionaries in the 1500s) is associated with Chilean jug wines, other winegrowers might have replanted the vineyards with Merlot or Chardonnay. However, David and Loreta saw the opportunity to make “wines of place” and help preserve Chile’s viticultural heritage at the same time."