2018 Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot is the ink of Bordeaux. Though an essential element of their blends, rarely is it employed at more than 2%. At this level, it imparts lush, refined tannins without overpowering the blend. At higher proportions, it obscures complexity and nuance, offering little aromatic interest of its own.
Steve Hill’s wonderful Hidden Spring Vineyard in northern Sonoma County, just south of the hamlet of Asti, reliably produces that rarest of treasures -- a stand-alone Petit Verdot. Surely this is a testament to the site’s full sun and the great drainage of its rocky soil, which allow the fruit to fully ripen, overcoming its high natural acidity and permitting the aromas of considerable interest to develop.
Most WineSmith wines are harvested at lower brix than many California winemakers choose. This is an exception. We require some desiccation to achieve a fine result, and because of its unbelievably dense color, there is no danger of dryness. We then replace that water for a balanced wine that extracts well.
The resulting dense, oily tannins support seductive aromas of cassis, licorice and tar. The wine is somehow both understated and powerfully seductive, like the roll of a timpani that you feel more than hear.
This vintage was released ahead of the 2017 due to its surprising early drinkability. Enjoy with grilled rib steak or duck breast.