The very first time I tried a Petite Verdot wine, was at a wine tasting at our friends store. Gary Wooton the winemaker, was at the tasting and as luck had it, I believe he had a bottle of his first vintage.
If you are not familiar with Petit Verdot’s origin, it is planted sporadically throughout the Bordeaux region in France with the highest concentration being in the St. Emilion district. This rarely found variety is typically the last harvested grape in the vineyard, sometimes as much as two weeks after Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a difficult grape to grow: in many vineyards, the grape rarely achieves full maturity and is vulnerable to an early fall frost. Petit Verdot is almost universally used as a blending grape and seldom accounts for more than 10% of any proportion.
Since the first time I have tried a Petite Verdot wine, many other wineries like Pine Ridge and Ferrari-Carano have released a Petite Verdot wine. I have a bottle of Pine Ridges 2009 Petite Verdot in my cellar and it will be interesting to see how it compares to Gary’s some day.
A Petite Verdot wine is not for the faint at heart. It is a full-bodied red with high tannins with moderate acidity.
Gary sources his Petite Verdot grapes from Tanners Vineyard which is close to the Sierra Nevada Mountain. His production of the 2009 Petite Verdot was limited to 65 cases. So, if you enjoy the wines do not hesitate to purchase it!
If you are not new to Smith Wooton wines you will also notice the wine label has changed. What used to be the stick on label is now an attractive silk screened label. I really like the new style of the label and it is probably a safe bet that Suzanne, Gary’s wife was the creator of the label.
Another nice touch, they have added a QR Code (like a bar scanner) on the side of the bottle. If your cell phone has a QR Code reader try reading the label. I think this is a great idea for wine makers. The younger generation wine drinkers all have smart phones and love to surf the internet. The code gives buyers instant access to Smith Wooton wines on the internet and their phone. They also have access to prices and locations where they are able to purchase the wines locally and on-line.
I have QR Reader from Tapmedia on my iPhone 4S. I tried to read the QR code on the bottle but the reader would not scan the code correctly. Just to be safe I grabbed a book, another bottle of wine with a paper label. The scanner on my phone read both fine. I’m not sure if there is a problem with the QR Code on the Smith Wooton bottle, or if the bottle is to shinny and reflects light. The think the shine is not allowing the scanner to work.
So back to the 2009 Petite Verdot. Here are my tasting notes.
The color depth is deep with a dark garnet hue. The clarity was very clear.
The Petite Verdot was very aromatic and young. A dominant nose of Green Pepper and Oak.
This is a full-bodied wine. The Petite Verdot was dry and the acidity was lively. The tannins were right there (medium and its characteristic slightly strong) and could be felt in my mid palate. The flavors were intense and again Green Pepper and Vegetable was the dominant flavors. The finish was long.
I have another bottle in my cellar and plan on holding it for five years before I try it again. I think the 2009 Petite Verdot will develop more over time.
We re-corked the bottle after dinner to try the next day. I figured a day sitting the wine should develop more.
I rated the 2009 Smith Wooton Petite Verdot three glasses.
The following day I pulled the cork to give it another try. As I guessed the Petite Verdot did develop while open twenty-four hours. I think over time this wine will be an excellent wine. The three glass rating could become a four glass! I would consider this bottle a “hold” and wait for five years.
Life is too short to drink crappy wine. Expand your palate and keep trying.