Viña Perez Cruz is a family-owned winery focused on the production of well crafted red blends that shows a great collaboration of tradition and modernity. The property is located in Liguai de Huelquén, Maipo Alto Valley, about 28 miles south-east of Santiago, Chile. All the wines are made with 100% estate fruit from 618 acres, 70% of the estate is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and the other 30% shared by Carménère, Syrah, Cot (Malbec), Merlot and Petit Verdot. During 2009 and 2010, looking forward to cutting edge inspiration, Perez Cruz planted about 9 acres of Mourvèdre, 10 acres of Grenache and 12 acres of Cabernet Franc; which led to greater complexity on the wines.
The climate in this wine making region is Mediterranean, with more rainfall during the cold season with plenty of daylight, lack of rain and tame temperatures during the warm season. Spring and fall are temperate with occasional frosts in spring and and little rain in spring and autumn; the ideal climate for grape vines growing.
The soil in the lower part of the vineyard is of alluvial origin "the product of worn material dragged from rivers or ravines" with plenty of round stones and rocks and sandy-clay texture. The upper part is located in the Andean foothills, is of colluvial origin "the product of sudden landslides" with abundance of large and small angular stones and a clay-loam texture. The water table is very deep encouraging root development and stress on the vines.
The 2010 Cot (Malbec) limited edition arrived as a sample and was delightful to try it for three days in a row paired with three different dishes.
- 1st Day: Paired with smoked bison outside bottom round steak, seasoned with kosher salt, black pepper and Emeril's Essence; with a side of grilled (over cedar planks) zucchini squash (salt and black pepper) drizzled with pear and cinnamon balsamic vinegar.
- 2nd Day: Paired with ground bison lasagna seasoned with sea salt Spanish paprika, garlic and basil and Puerto Rican style sofrito; alongside red sauce, mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan and Swiss cheeses. The lasagna was served with a side of tostones (green smashed fried plantains).
- 3rd Day: Paired with chicken fajitas (sautéed chicken breast with yellow onions, shallots, red peepers, tomatoes and green onions), seasoned with Kosher salt, black pepper, cumin and allspice; served on yellow corn tortillas.
With the first dish (smoked bison steak) the great structure on the wine complemented nicely with the gamy and spicy flavors on the meat and the sweet touch of the balsamic on the smoky zucchini. On the second day, paired with the bison lasagna the spiciness of the wine became more evident with the spices on the meat and sauce combo and great complement to the starchy and savory tostones. On the third day with more mellow tannins the fruit on the wine showed greatly against the savory and spicy flavors on the chicken.
- 2010 Cot (Malbec) Limited Edition, Viña Perez Cruz: (95% Cot/Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Carménère): If you are wondering about the meaning of Cot, it is a synonym for Malbec, derives from "Cot Noir", the name of the Malbec grape on the Southern-France region of Cahors. This elegant red wine starts with a vivid bouquet of ripe plum, red berries and red flowers aromas; followed by spices (vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg), cedar notes and black pepper. Long lasting finish with velvety tannins full of dark fruit flavors. This well crafted wine has great structure and balanced flavors, it delivers a big mouth-feel with a silky touch. This wine retails from $20 to $24.