In an ongoing effort to explore the diverse soils and climates of Chile, I recently was sent a bottle of Côt (aka malbec) by the Wines of Chile trade group. We'd been in contact since the most recent Wines of Chile Live Tasting that I blogged about, and I expressed interest in trying more Chilean red wines, especially those from unusual (to Chile) areas. They generously sent out a sample of the 2010 Perez Cruz Côt for me to try, and after waiting for about a month for it to settle down from shipping, I eagerly pulled the cork and dived in, so to speak.
2010 Perez Cruz Côt Limited Edition: While not 100% malbec,this is a blend of 93% Côt, 5% petit verdot, and 2% carmenere. Just goes to show you, Argentina isn't the only place outside of France for malbec anymore! The 2010 Perez Cruz pours a beautiful purple in the glass, that pales towards a nice ruby at the meniscus. The bouquet reveals itself after some vigorous swirls, offering notes of savory smoked meat, menthol, rosemary, and black fruit. I like this a lot better than the Argentine malbecs. On the palate it's offering flavors of leather, black cherry, more herbs, eucalyptus, and dark soil. The tannins are well integrated, holding the flavors together and creating a harmonious finish. 14.0% abv.
Based on the tasting notes, this isn't your typical jammy malbec from Mendoza, as you can tell. The Perez Cruz vineyards are located southeast of Santiago, right in the heart of Chile. From there, the warm, sunny days are mitigated by cool breezes which help rein in the sugar levels in the grapes while still allowing them to achieve phenolic ripeness. The region is called Maipo Alto.
At a suggested retail of $22, you get a very interesting malbec, with different characteristics from most New World examples. It's closer to a rustic Côt, from the Cahors region of France. For that alone, it's worth the purchase price. This would pair very nicely with steak, burgers, and Korean bbq. Look for savory foods to pair with this savory wine.
Here in the USA, it's imported and distributed by South American Wine Imports, so your local shop should be able to bring in a few bottles to try.
This was a sample from the Wines of Chile trade group.