Criolla Chica – also known as the Mission grape in California – was one of the first varieties to be introduced to South America, probably in the mid 16th century. Ever since then it has been used for communion wine and often mediocre table wine, until very recently when a small group of enlightened winemakers (including Sebastian Zuccardi) have recognised its potential.
The grape has a distinctive pink skin colour and so the resultant red wines are pale in colour, very much Pinot-like, although the similarities end there. This delicious Criolla, from 80 year old organically farmed vines in Calingasta, is bursting with ripe summer fruit pudding aromas with a dusting violets and roses.
Surprisingly firm tannins and serious acidity make for a wine that demands respect and good grub; roast lamb and pork belly work particularly well but anything with a nice fatty flavour is great.
Criolla Chica has arrived!
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