Who makes it?
Luis Felipe Edwards makes the Macerao Naranjo Orange wine from the Itata Valley in Chile. This is a very approachable ‘natural’ wine. The name ‘orange’ is due to the colour. As is the term ‘Naranjo’ which relates to the orange tree.
The term ‘orange’ wine does need to be carefully used however. Because these wines are ‘amber’ wines and that colour should be used to avoid confusion with wines from Orange, New South Wales in Australia, Orange County AVA, California, USA and from around Orange in the Rhone Valley in France.
Either way, this has proven to be a winner at tastings whenever I pour it.
To discover more about ‘orange’ or ‘amber’ wines and generally about ‘natural’ wines, please see ‘ I always thought that wine was a ‘natural’ product ….‘
How do they make it?
This has a superb story to tell. It is firstly a white wine from the Moscatel de Alexandria grape, or Muscat of Alexandria. This grape is distinctly floral and grapey. It is made from old vines over 60 years old that are dry farmed (not irrigated) and bush vine. Bush vines are grown without a trellis and are generally supported only by the vine’s trunk which grows very thick. For instance, very old vines of grenache in Australia, France and Spain are often grown this way.
That is only part of the story though.
The Luis Felipe Edwards winemaking team then hand harvest the ripe grapes. Those grapes are then fermented with wild yeasts that come in from the vineyards or are floating around the winery. After the initial ferment, the wine remains on the grape’s skins for around 90 days. Following this extensive maceration on skins, they bottle the wine without filtering it.
What makes this wine so different, is that the team at Luis Felipe Edwards very carefully monitors this wine to make sure it retains its freshness and so it does not become overly oxidative or develop any bacterial taints.
What does it taste like?
This is fuller in body for a white wine. There is a fine tannin grip from that extended skin contact that adds to the perception of fruit weight and structure. It tastes like honeyed ginger, orange peel, apricots and some lush floral notes. There is a surprising creaminess to the wine which is drier in sweetness level. Those tannins sweep through and dry off the finish nicely too.
The Macerao Naranjo Orange is a very ‘more-ish’ wine. Unsurprisingly, it is made to enjoy now and is not a cellar candidate.
What to drink it with?
I think this wine does work better with food. A salad with chicken skewers, or grilled fish with some herbs sprinkled over, or a quiche will work quite well. Even appetisers such as arancini, or feta triangles.
Give blue cheese a go with this one. It has enough fruit weight and intensity of flavour to work.
Quickie review « This amber wine will surprise you in just how drinkable it is ! »
Country of Origin: Valle Del Itata, Chile
Tasting Date: January 2023
Price: UK £8.5 | CAN$20
Drink: now !
Needs food: better with food
If you like Amber coloured wines or natural wines, why not check out:
I always thought that wine was a ‘natural’ product ….
Five natural wines that you should be drinking
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