Petit Verdot 2018, Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard
A varietal rarely bottled as its own, the Petit Verdot from the Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard shows uncommon complexity and balance. To the 92% Petit Verdot, the addition of 8% Cabernet Sauvignon brings fruit, balance, and depth to create a wine of intrigue that will cellar for ten years or more. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Dry Creek Valley
Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard
23.7 (at harvest)
25 months in 50% new French oak barrels, 50% 4-year-old French oak barrels
The depth and intensity of this wine start on the nose where aromas of rich ripe blackberry meld with hints of herbs de Provence and the toasty essence of finegrained oak. The velvety smooth entry is backed by bold flavors and a structure that provides a gentle punch to the palate, while balanced acidity bathes it. Black cherry and tart blackberry mingle with forest floor, eucalyptus and notes of violets that linger in the finish, creating the perfect expression of this varietal.
In 1983, when we began planting the Bradford Mountain Vineyard, I sourced Merlot and Cabernet Franc budwood from Newton Vineyard in the Napa Valley. John Kongsgaard, the winemaker/manager of Newton Vineyard, is a friend and former classmate of mine from UC Davis. When I arrived at the vineyard to make the cuttings, John mentioned that I might be interested in taking some Petit Verdot cuttings. He felt that it was an important component of their Bordeaux blends and might do well on Bradford Mountain. I cut enough Petit Verdot budwood to graft half of an acre of the rootstock we had planted in the spring. I subsequently learned that this Petit Verdot selection could be traced back to the Jackson Field Station in the Sierra Nevada foothills. This demonstration vineyard was planted in the 1880’s by Henry Hilgaard, the founder and first professor of the Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California.
While always an important part of our Cabernet Sauvignon and Agraria blends, we never thought it would be bottled as a varietal wine. In 2010, Jamie put together a blend that showcased the sauvage qualities of both the variety and the Bradford Mountain terroir. The 2018 vintage was another vintage with the perfect growing season to fully ripen Petit Verdot, providing all of the classic characteristics.
Food Pairing Notes
A wine to enjoy with venison backstrap with Cumberland sauce, or a medium-rare bacon-wrapped filet mignon with a side of four-cheese scalloped potatoes.