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.
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.