2020 Cracklin' Rosie
Recently relocated from Melbourne to Chile (as you do), Alice L’Estrange makes soulful wines from dry-grown vineyards of very old bush vines. Her vision is to work with small, traditional Vinateros, pay them three to five times the market rate and with them undertake an ever-healthier way of farming – abandoning chemical fertilisers and working with more regenerative approaches. Alice works in an old dirt-floor winery in the tiny town of Guarilihue, Itata, creating wines that respect traditional vitiviniculture. Her labels champion art by local female artists.
Her 2020 Cracklin' Rosie is a spritzy Cinsault rosé loaded with fresh summer berries and cleansing acid. Plump and creamy, it has the texture of sorbet. Some wild leaf, some funk, some phenolic bitterness. High enjoyment factor. Fruit comes from 25 year-old unirrigated bush vines grown by Pepe, Alice's neighbour and friend in Guarilihue. Pepe is a traditional farmer who has always sold grapes below cost of production. He produces just 2 tonnes of fruit, makes a little wine himself, and also grows beans, corn and potatoes. Before vintage, Alice and Pepe made a commitment: she would pay high prices and he would eliminate all chemical inputs for the 2020/21 growing season. After receiving his highest ever prices, pepe picked up the hoe again with great energy :) A wine that tastes good AND boasts a positive social and environmental impact. Yes please. Label features an original watercolour collage by artist Claire Mosley.
"Here's to more vaginas in what can oft be a pretty cocky industry" – Alice L'Estrange