Perez Cruz Chaski Petit Verdot 2011
Blend: 92% Petit Verdot, 8% Carmenere
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Pérez Cruz family’s primary objective is to express their estate’s personality through wines with character and identity. The wines are 100% single-estate origin, which affords the winery total control of the outstanding fruit which arrives at full maturity and with uniform ripeness. French-trained winemaker German Lyon, assisted by the occasional consult from Álvaro Espinoza, one of the leading biodynamic experts in the country, takes a gentle and diligent approach to handling the fruit, which flows through the multi-level gravity-fed winery without pumps.
Here in the rolling foothills of the Andes Mountains, soils are deep, stony, and poor in nutrients. The Mediterranean-like climate offers dry and very sunny summers with vast swings between daytime and nighttime temperatures—the ideal combination for producing high-quality wines with ripe fruit and driving acidity. Rocky soils and a temperate microclimate create exceptional growing conditions. The cooling influence of the Andes mountain air mingles with mild Pacific Ocean breezes to create the conditions for slow ripening and long hang times, which lead to fresh, vibrant fruit flavors married to local aromatic herbs, mouthwatering natural acidity and polished tannins.
The winery was built of native types of wood with two barrel-shaped central naves, exterior arches that evoke the passing of wind through trees, and stone foundations that recall the structures the Incas left behind in the area. Its sustainable design incorporates a gravity-flow process and has a three-million-liter capacity. By taking advantage of the conditions below ground, temperature and humidity are controlled naturally in the barrel cellar, which has a capacity for 5,000 barrels.
The Maipo Valley is Chile’s most famous wine region. Set in the country’s Central Valley, it is warm and quite dry, often necessitating the use of irrigation. Alluvial soils predominate but are supplemented with loam and clay.
The climate in Maipo is best-suited for ripe, full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon (the region’s most widely planted grape), Merlot, Syrah and Carmenère, a Bordeaux variety that has found a successful home in Chile.
One of the original Bordeaux varieties, Petit Verdot has a bold structure, color and aromas, which allow it to make a significant difference in Bordeaux Blends—even in modest amounts. While it isn’t planted in Bordeaux in great quantities anymore, its virtues are increasingly identified elsewhere. Somm Secret—Producing phenomenal single-varietal wines in hot and dry locations in the New World, Petit Verdot also finds a happy home in parts of Spain as well as in in Portugal’s Alentejo where it gracefully blends with the regions' indigenous varieties.