Random thoughts on the world of wine, presented in no particular order.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Petit Verdot

In Bordeaux, there's 6 allowed varietals, of which there are 5 that you'll actually find -- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot (Carmenere is also allowed, but there are, to my knowledge, no significant plantings of it in Bordeaux. There's plenty in Chile, though...). These varietals are also planted in California, significantly in Napa, as a part of making Meritage wines (and, as a note, that's pronounced to rhyme with "heritage"), which are California's answer to Bordeaux blends. As a cool bit of trivia, Petit Verdot one of the most expensive varietals you'll find in California -- there's a high demand, but small supply, as only 300 or so acres are planted in California. It is also found in small quantities elsewhere in the US, mainly Virginia.

And that's what I had last night -- a Petit Verdot from Virginia. Specifically, Oakencroft Petit Verdot 2006, from the Monticello AVA. A couple of friends of mine were up that way in October for a wine and craft show, and picked this up as a gift for me. My thoughts?

Purple with a violet rim. Average-intensity nose of grape and pencil shavings. Quite grapey in the mouth, on the midpalate, with a distinct graphite note right at the front and overarching Red Delicious apple. Some green/floral happening here, too. Not the deepest wine I've ever had, but very enjoyable nonetheless. Balance is nearly perfect -- medium-body, a not-overpowering acidity, just enough tannin to be interesting. Finish is fairly long. 89 points.

As I note, not the most intense or deepest wine, but quite interesting. A fun thought for a tasting, pick up one of each Bordeaux varietal (bonus points for picking up a Carmenere!), and "blend" tastes to see how they interplay. I've never quite had a wine with the same coloring -- the brilliant purple rim is quite interesting -- or flavor characteristics. It's quite unique, and I can see why producers use it in their blends. So, if you see some, try it!

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