We began working with Cabernet Franc fruit as an element for the Cab blend we make– and it grew on us. We began working in Pirque where an ancient river bed of the Claro River passed through where a larger vineyard now sits. The pieces where the river ran through are truly magical earthsto make Cab Franc.
There are many Cab Francs in Chile that are great elements for blending i.e. they offer a fuller rounder “middle-eight” to a Cab based blend, but this fruit near Pirque was the first that we found that had the clarity of fruit to stand on it’s own. It has the floral notes that one is accustomed to from the Loire.
#21 was made from fruit high in the foot hills of the Andes near Pirque. It was farmed with naturally low yields due to less hospitable conditions that help to give it a juicy acidity and broad rounded shoulders. The fruit was harvested in mid-May, was cold macerated for longer than usual because of naturally low temps (8 days on its skins), fermented in 500 L bins with strictly manual punching down. It was post macerated 9 days and it grew into a bigger wine than last years # 19. (If it has more structure it is only because the softer part of the blend that was in neutral barrels was lost to Chile’s quake earlier in the year. It is deep in colour, big on fruit and structure yet with the Franc elegance seldom seen in the new world. We think this comes from being made in small batches by hand with ones hands and nose so close to its crafting.
Most of this wine has been exported to UK, Denmark, earmarked for the US but there is a larger allocation for Chile (or a new importer) than ever due to slightly larger volume this year.
Jancis Robinson tried the wine in London last Sept (2010) :
Garage Wine Co, #21 Cabernet Franc 2009 Maipo
16 Drink 2011-2015 Derek Mossman Knapp’s winery is using fruit from 25-year-old vines for this polished, scented varietal. Complex though youthful and a little inky at the moment. Dry finish. Needs a bit of time in bottle. £10-15
James Suckling tasted it years later in 2016
Www. James Suckling .com
Cabernet Franc Lot # 21 – 2009 – 95 pts
– James Suckling (Best Cab Franc of Chile)
Incredible nose of crushed raspberries and flowers. Bay leaf too. Pureness of fruit here. Full body, round and silky tannins and a beautiful freshness and length. A fabulous wine. About 14 barrels made. Try to find it. Drink now.