Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery 2004 Petite Verdot, Lewis Vineyard (Lodi)

Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery

2004 Petite Verdot, Lewis Vineyard

There is so little Petite Verdot to be had on the market, you rarely find it bottled as a varietal on its own. Known as the universal spice of red wine, it can be added to darn near everything to give a wine just that little bit of padding under the carpet that you need for that extra oomph in the mouthfeel department. Not to mention that its enormous spiciness adds a dollop of secret sauce, like that swift grind of pepper on a dish before serving.

Like its massively dark and sullen cousin, George Troquato’s 04 Cabernet Franc, this Petite Verdot hails from the Lewis Vineyard on the banks of the Mokelumne River in Lodi, where it sits above Lake Commanche. I can tell you from experience that it’s not just relatively warm during the daytime there: it’s hot as blazes. However, those Delta breezes do kick in with some major evening cool downs. The grapes were picked on October 25, 2004 at 25.5° Brix at harvest, and finished at 3.70 pH, 0.59 TA. They were processed in 6-ton lots, with a 3-day cold soak, then fermented in open top tanks. Pressed off not-quite-dry at 1-2° Brix, the must was barrel-aged in American oak (20% new) for 30 months, then bottled unfiltered.

Man, oh. man, there ain’t nothin’ “petite” about this cowhand. Nope. This wine is monstrous. The nose is baked plum, sundried bricks, licorice and delightful blackberries. It’s really beautiful and engaging on the palate with lots of velvety smooth red and black fruits, sweet oak and tannins as velvety as they come. It’s smooth as a Lippazaner doing a twirl, and all that great vanilla really finishes it off beautifully and lengthily. This is the stretch limo of the Cinnabar stable.

Another in winemaker George Troquato’s Limited Production Series, only 250 cases were made, which for this winery, is very limited, indeed.

Reviewed May 23, 2008 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Cinnabar Vineyard and Winery
Vineyard: Lewis Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Petite Verdot
Appellation: Lodi
Grape: Petit Verdot
Price: 750ml $35.00

Review Date: 5/23/2008

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.