Great Whites of Chile

Imagine the scene. Steeply rolling hillsides, dark forests in the background, the foreground a hectic green sea of bush vines sprouting vigorously from rich terracotta soil. On a rickety table in the middle of the vineyard there is a glass of mysterious white wine. It smells of springtime and each taste is a modest but insistent invitation to enjoy more.

Neither wine nor scene is typical Chile. This is Itata, the deep south of Chilean wine country. The old vineyard belongs to De Martino and the wine – well, no one knows what the wine really is. It’s a blend of Muscat and a variety known locally as Corinto (possibly PX or Chasselas). Made with a discreet hand, it’s deliciously unassuming – the gently evocative, calming style is like drinking in this silent, scented landscape. It’s Chilean white, all right – but not as we know it.

[Peter Richards MW on Chile’s best white wines in Decanter April 2016]

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