2011 De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsaut, Itata Valley

I went to a tasting of some of the Wine Society’s newest offerings last week. They had rather neglected the Languedoc, but they were showing a Cinsaut from Chile. I had no idea that Chile produced Cinsaut and this example was delicious, made by De Martino from thirty year old unirrigated bush vines in the Itata Valley, which is only about 20 kilometres from the coast, and therefore one of Chile’s cooler areas. The wine was fermented in amphora, which apparently is an old tradition in Chile.

The flavour was a little denser than a Languedoc Cinsaut. Young vibrant colour. Fresh cherry fruit with some spice and herbs on the nose and palate. Very intriguing fresh fruit, with some balancing acidity and tannin – a retail price of £8.95.

For those who do not know the Wine Society, or to give it its full name, The International Exhibition Cooperative Wine Society, it is the UK’s oldest mail order wine merchant, founded in 1874. And to buy from them, you must first buy a share in the Society. I have a soft spot for them, as it was a glass of The Society’s Champagne that first lured me into the wine trade, when they offered me my first job. And they have a great list of wines as they have a firm mission to seek out the new and the original, such as this delicious Chilean Cinsaut.


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