One hundred percent bottlings of Petit Verdot are hard to find — and I love a good Petit Verdot. It has to be my favorite of the main Bordeaux varietals. While traditionally blended with the other noble grapes (usually in small amounts, predominantly for a touch of texture and added color), it seems more vintners are finding the beauty in what this grape has to say when on its own. So any chance I have to taste a single varietal bottling of PV, I take it. This is my first dive into PV from Mendocino County, and it seems — based on this tasting — the Yorkville Highlands AVA has quite a unique affect on this royal red grape.

About the Wine: Yorkville Cellars 2014 Petit Verdot is made from 100% Petite Verdot grapes harvested from the Yorkville Cellars estate vineyards located in the Yorkville Highlands AVA of Mendocino County, California. After a gentle crush, the grapes cold-soaked for three days in open top fermenters. They were then inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast and left to ferment for 10 days before being pressed and racked for aging. The wine aged in 100% French oak barrels for 20 months.

13.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Aromas of damp wood, dark chocolate, and blackberries emanate from out of the bottle of the Yorkville Cellars 2014 Petit Verdot. The wine is dark, sanguine, and jewel-like on the pour, settling into the glass just a bit darker, a bit rouger, with an overall film of purple. It’s almost a foggy midnight-purple hue at its core, fading out to just a lipstick’s kiss of that same color.

Breathe in — this 100% Petit Verdot is deeply aromatic of wet wood, bittersweet chocolate, and black rose perfume. Swirl and find the fruits: plump black cherries, boysenberries — yet those initial aromatics never subside.

The palate of the Yorkville Cellars 2014 Petit Verdot is full with tangible tannins and a light acidity. Those tannins soften significantly after letting the wine settle in the decanter for about 30 to 40 minutes. The finish is still dry, but the acidity pulls through to the end, keeping the aftertaste fully alive with flavors. Dominant flavors are of cedar wood, black cherry skins, black cherry juice, almond skins, boysenberry jam, and macerated blueberries.

The finish of the wine is all about a perfect combination of fruit and earth — it is so Old Wrold-y, reminiscent of some of the most elegant Bordeaux.

Food Pairing: I paired the Yorkville Cellars 2014 Petit Verdot with a grilled filet mignon and a side salad filled with blueberries, blue cheese, caramelized onion, all tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. I loved this pairing. Even the spinach in the salad paired well. Usually the cruciferous nature of this vegetable toys with the tannins, creating a clutching, clinging sensation on the palate. Not so here, the tannins, if possible, became more plush. The steak, which was lightly crusted with black pepper, brought out that earthy brambliness in the wine, while its carnal juices (cooked rare to medium rare) elevated the wine’s fruit components.

And the blue cheese. Well, who doesn’t like a good blue cheese with a deep-set red wine? The creaminess rounded out the mouthfeel while the funk brought out those floral aromatics.

Perfect pairing? Indeed.

More Info: I received the Yorkville Cellars 2014 Petite Verdot as a sample for review. (Cheers Ed!) Retail: $34. For more information about Yorkville Cellars, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Yorkville Cellars website.


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