(2021) Itata is one of Chile's newer regions, much further south than the original valleys and close to the lush Lake District. This is made from 70-year-old dry-farmed vines and was aged for eight months in old oak barrels. It has a fairly pale but vivid colour, and a vinous, cherry and Indian ink nose, the palate revealing sweet vine fruits, a nice mid-weight palate with fruit and acid in balance and a satisfying mouthful of wine, perfect for summer barbecues.
(2019) I visited De Martino in 2010, yet the visit is still fresh in my mind as that was to their base in the extraordinary landscape of the northerly Elqui Valley, on the edge of the Atacama desert. This comes from the other Chilean extreme however, from the Itata Valley, a relatively new cool-climate region way down in the south. Intriguingly, Daily Drinker's owner Caspar Bowes suggests bushfires around the vineyards are responsible for the smoky notes in the wine: despite having never seen oak, there is definitely a charry quality. There's also a stemmy, wood bark sense of dryness on the nose, red berry fruit in the mix too. On the palate it is a crisp and fresh style of red, perhaps appealing most to the Beaujolais or Pinot-lover, but beneath that hint of burning embers there is juicy red fruit and plenty - plenty - of interest. Daily Drinker Club members buy with 10% off the stated price. Watch the video for more information.
(2016) Smooth and chocolatey stuff, with plenty of dry extract character, sweet black fruit. Very juicy on the palate, well judged with dry but fine tannins.
(2015) >From the cool southern vineyards of the recently developed Itata Valley, this is Torres' 12% alcohol dry Muscat that I have enjoyed in previous vintages too. Herby (dill, leafy parsley) and floral on the nose, there's fresh apple and lemon too. On the palate definitely a hint of sweetness to this, very easy-drinking in style, nectarine-like sweet fruit and good balancing acidity. Certainly off-dry, and a summer sipper if you wait until the sun shines again, but another natural partner to fresh and spicy Oriental cuisine.
(2013) High rainfall here (700mm) but still 1250 GDD and 15.3ºC diurnal range. 13% ABV. And to show Chile is definitely not all about playing it safe, is this Chile's first 'orange wine'? A natural wine made in 100-year-old clay amphora, it too is cloudy and yeasty, though the powerful Muscat character comes through strongly, the earthy, typically savoury and meaty aromas of natural wines in the background. Quite dry and steely on the palate, this has a hint of sweetness but finishes very dry and quite pithy. I rather liked this, though I confess more for the 'interesting' character rather than outright drinkability.