Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Petit Verdot For $15? Gimme.

California wine négociant Cameron Hughes owns no vineyards and has no official winery.  He sniffs out good wine which has already been produced by established makers, then buys it on the down low with an agreement not to reveal the source.  He then sells the wine online through his wine club - he calls it a wineocracy - bringing top-shelf wines to lower-shelf wallets.  Hughes says he keeps prices low by removing the middleman, the distributor and retailer through which store-bought wines must pass.

Cameron Hughes Lot 638 Petit Verdot Yakima Valley 2016

You generally see Petit Verdot used in red blends, rather than a stand-alone grape.  It's a small, bold berry which is so tough to handle that many growers stay away from it.  Hughes says that he found one who didn’t stay away, one who was planning to sell the wine for $40 a bottle.  Hughes sells it for $15.  Alcohol hits 14.4% abv.

It's a grape for big-flavor people.  If you pepper your eggs heavily before tasting them, Petit Verdot might be for you.  If you say the espresso would have been great if only it were a little stronger, Petit Verdot might be for you. 

This inky Washington wine smells like plums and vanilla with a lacing of leather and lavender.  The palate is deep and complex, full of dark fruit - plums, blackberries - and spices, herbs and anise.  The tannins are firm enough, but not overpowering.  It’s a great wine for a roast or just for sipping.

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