This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Chilean Red Single-Varietal under £15 went to Miguel Torres, País, Reserva de Pueblo 2012 (12%)
- Mayu, Piggy Bank Carmenere, Elqui Valley 2012
- Mayu, Reserva Malbec, Elqui Valley 2012
- San Pedro, Gato Negro Carmenere, Central Valley 2013
Pais is the forgotten grape of Chile, long disregarded as being capable of producing fine wine. Think again.
Miguel Torres Maczassek, general manager of Miguel Torres Chile, is on a mission to revise such thinking and is intent on turning back the clock: ‘With this wine we want to look back to the roots of Chilean viticulture,’ he says. ‘Pais was the first vinifera grape planted in Chile 500 years ago and for centuries was the only red wine produced here until the arrival of French varieties. Most people then left for the city tomake a living, although some never abandoned the vineyards. Pais is still grown in the inner coastal range, on small properties by humble farmers, and all the work is done by hand.’
The fruit for this Trophy winner comes from vineyards over 100 years old in Cauquenes in the Maule Valley. There’s no irrigation and the soils are deep and granitic. A signature of the País grape is its natural low alcohol which make them ‘very easy to drink,’ says Maczassek. ‘As País was the wine people were drinking in the towns of Chile for more than 300 years, we felt the ‘Pueblo’ name honoured that.’
Written by Decanter