De Martino Vigno Carignan 2013

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The 2013 Vigno Single Vineyard La Aguada is part of the Vigno association of producers of Carignan (Carinena) from the Maule Valley. The wine is produced from a field blend from an ungrafted, dry farmed, head-pruned old vineyard called La Aguada in Sauzal, with approximately 85% to 90% Carignan and 10% other red varieties (Malbec, Cinsault, Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon...); these vines were planted in 1955 on granite soils. The secret here is to mature the wine in large volume oak containers, something they are doing with all of their top wines that has worked really well. 2013 is a year with better natural acidity than previous years, while alcohol levels were moderate, yields were naturally high and they had to work to contain them. The grapes fermented with indigenous yeasts and the wine matured in 5,000-liter oak foudres for two years. This is a wine of character, the nose has a special freshness and incipient complexity for such an early age; there are aromas of bacon, tree bark, wild berries and a pinch of spices. The palate is medium-bodied with refined, ultra-polished tannins that give elegance to that internet rusticity, while at the same time it is restrained with a certain austerity. The vintage is very marked in De Martino's Vigno bottling. This follows the verticality of the 2011, much fresher than the 2012. I've had this wine at least four times and it's quite a chameleon, sometimes showing itself more like a Syrah, sometimes it felt more Carinena and it was always ever changing in the glass. There is a lot of complexity, and even if sometimes I felt like there was a lack of typicity, my final conclusion is that the field blend has to be the reason for such complexity and changing personality. We shall see in future vintages how the aging in the large oak vats develop, and if they are partly responsible for the wine profile. -96 Points WA