August 12, 2016
Louis-Antoine Luyt Pipeño Santa Juana 2015
Louis-Antoine Luyt was a student of Marcel Lapierre, of Morgon and natural winemaking fame. He’s a Frenchman in Chile, making natural wines that conjure a mix of cru Beaujolais and the Loire. He makes small lots of biodynamic wines that are complex, intriguing and terroir driven.
Luyt was the winemaker who resurrected Pais, the humble grape of Pipeño, or peasant wine. In 2007 he made Clos Ouvert Uva Huasa, an earthy, fresh and juicy red from vines planted by Spanish conquistadors. People in Chile were dubious about this fascination with Pais, but Luyt was undeterred, so he and Marcel Lapierre set off on a road trip to find ancient, abandoned, dry-farmed plots of the forgotten variety. Luyt and Lapierre then produced a Pais together, El País de Quenehueao, made via carbonic maceration that was evocative of Morgon and cemented the love affair with Pipeño. Lapierre passed away in 2010 but Luyt continued on his journey of finding and purchasing old plots of Pais. With Concha y Toro recently getting in on the game, it’s practically gone mainstream.
Pipeño Santa Juana is from 250 year old, dry-farmed vines. It’s history in a bottle.
Here’s a photo of Santa Juana Pais vines from the beautiful Louis/Dressner site: