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|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine, Vegan|
The grape known as país in Chile descends from vines planted by Spanish missionaries in the early days of European presence in the Americas. In fact, a related strain goes by the name “mission” in California. In Argentina their cousin variety is called criolla. Particularly suited to its dry, high-altitude setting, criolla thrives where other grapes would not, in the Calchaquí valley of northern Argentina. Winemaker Pancho Lavaque takes this criolla chica, from vineyards planted in 1898 at 2600 meters above sea level, to (as it were) the extreme. His Vallisto “Extremo” brings out a distinctive depth of flavor from a grape known primarily for chuggable reds. Still light and definitely chillable, Pancho’s criolla opens to aromas of coconut and cedar, with a touch of smokiness that just calls out for a backyard grill and a marinated steak. Fresh tannins and brightness frame strawberry and dark cherry on the palate. Organically grown, low-intervention/natural wine, vegan.