By: Kirk Walker
K&L Staff Member
Pipeño is a traditional style of wine, winemaking and wine drinking from Chile, especially from Southern Chile.
Just to look at the raw material before digging into anything else about this wine should pique most people’s curiosity; 200+ year old Pias vines! Most commercial vineyards are old at 20 years! Most wines made from 100 year old vines are 4 times the price of this wine.
For those whom this is important to, the vineyards are more than organically farmed. Additionally the wine is made with minimal intervention. Fermentation is partial carbonic, done in traditional Rauli barrels with native yeasts. This qualifies it for most “natural wine” consumers. Meaning this wine has a little of that funk, but in the best way, I’ll get back to that later.
As mentioned, Pipeño also refers to a style of drinking. Taking young fresh wines, and mixing them with non alcoholic beverages, just to be enjoyed with food and good company.
While this is not something to be mixed, it is light and refreshing and can go down as quickly and as enjoyably as any “spritzer”. Here is where I want to talk about that funk, it presents itself like a hint of vinegar, think like a shrub, a strawberry rosemary shrub! This wine has soft dusty fruits, with slightly tangy acid, and just enough framing tannins. It is fresh and savory and mouth watering, you cannot help yourself from going back and taking another sip. Being less than 12% alcohol abv, you will not feel bad about how fast the wine disappears. While this may not be for everyone, this is not only a cork dork wine. Simply, this is an unusual wine that begs to be shared with good friends and good food.