Petir Verdot | 2016 | $32


Style

This is a classically rustic Petit Verdot with loads of spice, dark fruits, and tannins. When young, the wine is very jammy. With a few years age of age the wine will tone down a bit and take on more complexity and nuance.

Food pairing

Barbecued or smoked meats, cassoulet, duck confit, mutton cous-cous.

Vineyards

Hardscrabble Vineyard (65%), Fauquier Co. on top of the Blue Ridge at 1,300 to 1,400 feet with an eastern to southern slope. Deep, well-drained mineral soils give cherry character and good tannin structure. Vine ages from 15 to 25 years.

Boisseau Vineyard (20%), Warren Co. is located on a bluff above Front Royal in the Shenandoah Valley at an elevation of 600 feet. The vineyard is west facing on light, deep, well drained loam soils. Boisseau contributes 'fat' to the blend. The vines were planted in 2000 and are trained on cordon/VSP trellising.

Avenius Vineyard (15%), Warren Co. is just 1 mile north of Linden Vineyards at 1,300 feet contributes good acidity and verve. Petit Verdot planted in 1998.

Vintage

A somewhat uneventful winter gave way to a warm, dry March that stimulated an early bud swell. Late April through most of May was very wet and cloudy. The vines did not look healthy with pale green leaves, slow shoot development and a fair amount of phomopsis scars.

The wet weather pattern broke in late May and flowering was very successful under ideal conditions. The rest of June and early July was typical with occasional thunderstorms. By late July we saw browning grass and cessation of new growth, always a welcome sign. Heavy thundershowers in early August stimulated some vines in more clay-based soils, but vineyard blocks in low water holding capacity soils remained in balance.

The rest of August through most of September was very dry. September was uncommonly warm, including nighttime temperatures. Acids dropped faster than normal. Harvest was September 26 through October 3, 2016.

Winemaking

Grapes hand sorted before destemming and then again afterwards to remove compromised berries and stem pieces. Extraction techniques for Petit Verdot were gentle. Fermentation temperatures were cool with pump overs only once a day. Time on skins was ten days. Carmenere was co-fermented with Petit Verdot. The wine was aged primarily in tank along with a few older oak barrels. Bottled January 2018. 94% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 3% Carmenere. 13.2% alcohol by volume. 551 cases produced. Drink through 2024.


Kevin Osborn