That’s what I’ve been saying all spring into summer, “It’s Rosé, José,” and this time it was an Estelado from Miguel Torres de Chilé!
A list of what’s been pouring in, in an unprecedented amount…
- 2015 Masi Rosa dei Masi Rosato Delle Venezie
- 2015 The Seeker Rosé Côtes de Provence
- 2015 Alta Vista Rosé Malbec
- 2015 biokult Zweigelt Rosé of the Niederösterreich
- 2015 Biokult Österreich Rosé Secco
- 2015 Les Hauts de Lagarde’s Bordeaux
Santa Digna Estelado, from Miguel Torres, has recovered the oldest grape variety from the Chile’s past. It’s called the País. So rare, in fact, it’s number 161 on my Wine Century Club list. I’m now working toward a Doppel Membership (having tasted 200 different varieties).
This wine is 100 percent País… pure joy, refreshing, satisfying, and tiny bubbles sparkling in my glass… Amor, amor, amor… Mucho muy bien, tambien. Being very partial to pink, the pale rose color took my breath away… Blood orange flavors were the definition for this one.
About País: Mission: it’s also known as Criolla Chica in Argentina, and País in Chile. In the US, we know it as the red grape variety Mission. It’s a grape of major historical importance for the world. I’m so thrilled to see this grape variety making its way back into wine being made today.
How the grape got from Spain to Chile and beyond
Jesuit Missionaries transported original vines from Spain to the new world in the middle of the 1500s. Cultivated in Mexico and then into South America, for nearly a century, it then began to migrate north into California. The mission grape is believed to be of Mexican and/or South American (Argentina) origin, related to the Spanish Criolla, and the Pais variety of Chile. In the early 2000s when I wrote a report for a Viticulture 101 class, there were 36,872 acres planted to the Mission variety. Prior to being planted in California, the Mission was first grown in Mexico for 200 years. Criolla means “a New World scion of an Old World parent, adapted to the new condition.” The grape flourished in California, producing a sturdy vine that didn’t require staking, and ripened well in almost any climate. The exception was Mission Dolores in San Francisco, whose climate was, and still is, consistently cool and damp.
Crafting this Wine
The Estelado was made following the traditional ethos with a second fermentation in the bottle. The winemakers recovered Chile’s earliest grape variety, which arrived in the 16th Century. The grapes were grown by a large number of small farmers, the variety was all but forgotten, until it was recently rediscovered by making wines and realizing they were of high quality. According to Miguel Torres, “Each bottle of sparkling País consumed helps to create demand and, as a result, better conditions for the winegrowers of Chile.” — I drink to that!
As I wrote part of this blog story, I listed to the following for inspiration, while sipping this Rosé Uva País.. It’s a truly delightful sparkling wines. I highly recommend it for the rosé, bubbling crowd that’s trending, right into Indian Summer.