The Perez Cruz 2019 Limited Edition Cabernet Franc was fermented in stainless steel and aged 14 months in oak. Cabernet Franc is one of Ontario’s signature grapes so is Chile muscling in on Ontario’s territory?
Upon opening the bottle the aroma of the wine exudes some barnyard which in small amounts can add charm but in excess can be fatal. Thank goodness the barnyard subsides with some aeration being replaced with some well integrated oak. Some high-strung red cherry peacefully co-exists with loganberry and chocolate covered cherries. Canadians may remember Lowney’s Chocolate covered cherries and in this wine that memory is invoked. When those boxes of Christmas chocolates from Purdy’s in Vancouver were passed around I always went for the chocolate covered cherries! The wine’s tannins are firm unlike most Ontario Cabernet Francs. The palate presents black cherry with much lesser notes of cranberry. At 14.5% alcohol and with its tannins this is an excellent wine to have with food. I would suggest bone in grilled chicken breasts coated with a stout and Peruvian Merken spice and served with grilled asparagus brushed with EVOO and just a bit of sesame seed oil.
This is a medium bodied wine with an equal finish. I see it as still in its youth and will get in stride by mid 2023 and cruise into a wall by 2025. By the way this Cabernet Franc has more hair on its chest than what one might expect from its Ontario cousins.
I would keep my palate on the alert for how the acids in the wine develop. They are lurking on the edges here.
(Pérez Cruz Limited Edition Cabernet Franc, DO Maipo Andes, $19.95, Vitivinícola Pérez Cruz, Helquén-Paine, Chile, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 10591, 750 mL, 14.5%, RKS Wine Rating 89/100).