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Monday, July 20, 2009

2002 Trinchero Petit Verdot

I have been staring at this wine for the last couple of week deciding whether or not to crack it open or try to hold on to it for a few years. I'm fascinated by Petit Verdot as a varietal wine, and have been shocked at the quality and power that this variety can display if made right.

Without getting too far into the history of the Trinchero family and the wines, lets just say that they're an old school producer, that has many different bottlings and vineyard holdings. The "Trinchero" wines are divided into two tiers. The Napa Reserve wines are single-vineyard bottlings featuring grapes from the family's 200 acres of estate vineyards in Napa Valley. The "Trinchero Family" wines showcase the Napa vineyards plus 200 acres in Lake County and 525 acres in Santa Barbara County.

This Petit Verdot comes entirely from a three-acre block the" Main Street Vineyard" located just east of Highway 29 at the southern end of St. Helena. I could not find the tech data for the 2002 vintage but I'm assuming that it's similar to the 05' which is where I'm getting this info.
I believe there is a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon blended into this wine and it is also aged in both French and American oak.

Now lets taste it!..... As with most Petit Verdot wines the color is very dark and youthful looking. This wine is 7 years old already but is showing zero signs of losing any color. On the nose I get a very nice rustic black cherry aroma coupled with hints of dark chocolate, black licorice, cedar, and leather. I also detect the slightest hint of brettanomyces which is just enough to add a nice complexity to the wine without detracting from the fruit.

On the palate this wine has a very sharp acidity and a somewhat sheer or light texture. The age doesn't show too much in the color or even on the nose, but on the palate you can tell that the tannin is well integrated now and the wine is showing all it's fruit and alcohol skeleton. There is a very nice bright cherry character that is the center point of the flavor profile, cedar box, leather, spice, cranberry, and plum are all secondary notes I'm picking up towards the finish. The wine definitely finishes dry and with a punch of heat from the alcohol, but the fruit is so pronounced that the wine lingers on the palate for at least a few minutes.

I'm extremely impressed with this bottle of wine and wasn't expecting it to drink with this sort of style and grace. I figured it would be under ripe or way off balance with excessive tannin. Of course, the grapes are grown in St. Helena, and so I one really wouldn't expect anything other than quality from an AVA with such amazing fruit. Hard to score this because I have tasted only a handful of Petit Verdot varietal wines but I think it merits 90 points.

Benito said...

I had this wine a few years ago and loved it. The distributor who was doing the tasting pointed out that the wine wasn't for sale in the Memphis area, but he'd grabbed a few bottles on a trip to the winery and wanted to share them at a tasting.

Check out the Bell Petite Verdot if you like the style, and the Yard Dog red is a pretty affordable Aussie wine that's almost half Petite Verdot.

Thomas said...

Thanks Ben, I'll Check it out. I am familiar with Bell and have enjoyed their six clones Cab in the past. Cheers!

My Caddy said...

ooohhh, we are always on a look out for good wine and this sounds like an exceptional one.

 
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