We continue to get new entries from Chilean wineries. Pérez Cruz has been around for a while, but it was just picked up last year by Paul Hobbs for U.S. distribution, while Anderra is a new, quite-affordable offering from the Baron Philippe de Rothschild stable.
The six Pérez Cruz wines reviewed below are all solid, though they may be a bit big and bold for some palates. By contrast, the Anderra wines, while priced much lower, seem to be less well-structured and somewhat tepid in their fruit. Normally, I hate to make such criticisms about differences in style, but here I think Anderra simply misses the mark — either because it was trying to make a lean European style that doesn’t quite work, or because it didn’t have the best fruit to begin with.
2012 Pérez Cruz Maipo Alto carmenere ($25)
Quite nice with rounded purple fruit — raspberry cream, mostly — and a savory touch at the end.
2011 Pérez Cruz “Pircas de Liguai” Valle del Maipo cabernet sauvignon ($50)
A complex wine with tangy blackberry fruit, a dollop of cream, good acidity, good minerality, some savory notes in the finish, and lots of dusty tannins.
2012 Pérez Cruz Limited Edition Valle del Maipo cabernet franc ($25)
Tart but ripe berry flavors, some typical franc notes of briars, creamy chalkiness, and plenty of dusty tannins.
2010 Pérez Cruz Valle del Maipo “Liguai” ($45) My Pick of the Litter.
Syrah leads the way with generous amounts of cabernet sauvignon and carménère filling in. The result is a delightful, big, slightly meaty red with delicious dark fruit that is neither juicy nor creamy, but rather has forest floor and dark chocolate notes. Intense and long — I love it.
2012 Pérez Cruz Valle del Maipo cabernet sauvignon reserve ($16)
A bit like an old-school Bordeaux with fresh, lively fruit and pleasant green notes — a very nice wine to pair with steak.
2010 Pérez Cruz “Chaski” Valle del Maipo Petite Verdot ($40)
Normally PV is a blending grape, so this one will be a treat for the growing fan base for PV varietals — big and savory with flavors of dark cherry, pepper, tobacco, and dried herbs.
2013 Anderra Chile sauvignon blanc (12)
Usually we compare the taste of sauvignon to gooseberries or lime, but here it tastes simply and pleasantly like white grape juice — fermented of course — with an agreeable, tart finish.
2012 Anderra Chile cabernet sauvignon ($12)
Very thin, with blackberry flavors and not much structure. If this is an attempt at a Chilean version of an everyday Bordeaux red, it falls short.
2012 Anderra Chile carmenere ($12)
Nice red fruits and balancing green stemminess and some carbon notes, but it sort of floats on the palate, not quite grounded.