We’ve been working with our friends at De Martino for nearly a decade and, during this time, not only has our relationship with them grown from strength to strength but the depth and breadth of the range of wines that we’ve been able to bring to you has increased massively.
This year sees De Martino celebrate their 80th anniversary. As well as being very proud to celebrate how far they have come as a winery, they are also are keen to recognise how much they have managed to maintain their family winery status.
Since their inception, De Martino have spent many years exploring and developing their own identity in their wines.
“Looking back, moving forward” – What does this mean ?
De Martino is now entering a period of finalisation. After a 20 year focus on defining a ‘house style’ they feel they have finally reached a pinnacle and with the 2011 vintage wines the style has finally been defined. The wines now have a sense of place. A harmony between the vineyards and the finished wines in bottle. By working with specific plots of vines that have unique characters and adopting a very natural approach to winemaking in the winery, the 2011 wines have captured the team’s vision. This style is about delivering wines that the family and staff at De Martino and ultimately the consumer really want to drink. A style far removed from the chunky, often over ripe, swathed in oak styles of years gone by.
A renewed and concentrated focus on the finished wine styles came about after the 2005 wines, a vintage Winemaker Marcello Retamal refers to as the ‘dark side’ of his winemaking. After long discussions it was decided to work towards a goal for longevity to define the De Martino style. This style really started to show its face on release of the 2010 wines. The wines veered away from the traditional use of new oak and leaving the grapes on the vine to reach crazy levels of ripeness, looking to increase freshness and vibrancy in the finished wines.
The concept “Looking back, moving forward” summarises the arc of De Martino’s journey, one where they have made huge inroads in finding their own identity, yet one that they are still pursing and enjoying enormously.
I was very pleased to attend De Martino’s “Looking back, moving forward” wine tasting in London recently, which was a progressive tasting of their wines. We tasted a number of wines from their range but their journey of evolution was clearly highlighted when we looked at three wines, all from different vintages but from the same vineyard.
Wine Number 1 – Altos de Piedras Carmenere D.O. Isla de Maipo 1998 – harvest April 15 – 13.5% Very evolved showing, intense clove spice, rich raisin fruit (especially dates), plumy notes and tobacco. On the palate the fruit is raisined with rounded evolved tannins. The wine is more in keeping with their desired style but the use of new oak was still in force.
Wine Number 2 – Altos de Piedras Carmenere D.O. Isla de Maipo 2005 – Harvest May 10 – 14.5% The nose is very dense with masses of black fruit that is concentrated and very ripe. It hasn’t matured very well. On the palate it is a little disjointed. The fruit is over ripe and oak is massive. The acidity is out of whack too. On release the sweetness would have pleased the masses but this was not a wine built to last.
Wine Number 3 – Altos de Pierdras Carmenere D.O. Isla de Maipo 2011 – Harvest April 20 – 13% More red fruit concentration than both of the above and a little leafy character. The spice is nicely integrated with the fruit concentration. On the palate the extraction is very nice, delivering a soft fruit experience with balanced acidity and lovely tannins. There is a complete feel to this wine.
I am really excited about what the future holds for De Martino and look forward to sharing with you their wines as they continue to evolve.
You can read the rest of my tasting notes HERE
Competition – Your Chance To Win 3 Bottles Of De Martino Wines
We are giving you the opportunity to win three bottles of special De Martino wines. All you need to do is find the answer to the question below, follow us on Twitter and tweet us the answer using #VWDeMartino80. All entries will be collected and one winner will be drawn at random. Please be sure to read the T&C’s HERE.
Q) Who is the winemaker at De Martino?