Anthony Gismondi on Wine
PerSe La Craietext

PerSe La Craie 2013

Gualtallary, Tupungato, Central Region, Mendoza, ArgentinaAt PerSe, owners/winemakers/viticulturalists Edgardo del Popolo and David Bonomi practice artisanal winegrowing based on the simple and time-honoured philosophy that less is more. The 2013 vintage was cold; the first in a series of three cool years in Mendoza. Unlike the preceding years of warmth and richness 2013 was a chance to express freshness and to build acidity and structure. La Craie. A 65/35 blend of malbec and cabernet franc is perhaps the ultimate Gualtallary red, a wine that shouts minerality to all who would deny it exists in wine. The fruit is co-fermented and joined together after growing nearby each other yet in different plots. Wild yeasts begin the co-fermentation and two, per-day punch-downs last through more than a month lengthening the tannins to a silky scarf texture that are aged 16 months in two and three-year-old used oak barrels. It seems the older the oak gets the better the wine. That’s it for winemaking: no fining no filtering, no other fussing about. It’s difficult to explain how much more interesting this wine can be in the cool years but there is a freshness and delicacy that highlights the terroir, the red fruits and savoury dried herbs in this blend. The franc gives it a richness without weight and the chalky/calcareous soils mixed with sand, clay and limestone contribute the minerality and class. You could argue the alcohol at 15.2 is too much but you don’t feel it. It is as if it provides the weight in this cool year not that the fruit isn’t ripe. Again kudos to Bonomi and del Popolo for stretching the envelope and putting first class (Grand Cru) sites like Gualtallary on the international wine map. It’s still a baby but it’s a beacon for the New Argentina, a place where the wine is beginning to take its cue from its origins. Gualtallary (pronounced WALL-tall-oree) has quickly established itself as the best single site for malbec in all of Argentina and now it looks like cabernet franc may be a fit too.Tasted: 22 February 2017Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 150.00 estimated retail Producer: Per Se Vines SABlend: Malbec - Cabernet Franc