Intipalka, produced in the Peruvian pisco heartland in of the region of Ica, manages to accomplish something that rarely occurs with Peruvian wine: not be spit out. Sure Tacama has put out a few alright wines, mostly their reserves, but nothing that could ever rival an average (lets not get carried away here) vino from Argentina or Chile. This wine isn’t half bad. Drinkable even. It proves Peru has the grape growing potential that extends beyond pisco.
Intipalka’s best is their Tannat, a grape that isn’t even that common outside of Uruguay, where it is considered the national grape, or Argentina. If you drink a tannat in France it will probably be juiced up with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc just to make it go down, but in South America it is softer and fruitier and the grapes wider potential is just beginning to be explored on a greater scale. Here, even in Peru, it doesn’t need to be blended. Other Intipalka varietals include a Malbec (yes, a Malbec produced in Peru), a Cabernet Sauvignon-Petit Verdot blend, a Syrah, a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc, a couple of other blends.
The wine is produced by Santiago Queirolo, whose wine making process underwent a major renovation that brought in new technology in the late 1990’s. Though launched in 2009, Intipalka has already begun to appear on the US market.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.