Marcelo Retamal has quietly become one of Chile’s best winemakers. As winemaker at Chile’s De Martino, he’s been on a real terroir kick, developing wines based on varieties that perform best in certain areas—the winery’s $15 Legado line features a Choapa Valley Syrah and a Limarí Valley Chardonnay that offer a rare combination of value and legitimate complexity. Now, Retamal is turning his attention to some of Chile’s old, overlooked vineyards for his next project. Retamal plans to release a lineup of single-vineyard wines based on old-vine vineyards mainly in the southern Maule Valley, where there are 500 hectares of old-vine, head-pruned Carignane vines. It’s a vinous treasure that has long been bypassed by Chilean wineries as the grapes from these vines often wound up in indiscriminate blends.
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