Petite Riviere Vineyards & Winery2002 Cotes de LaHave - Barrel Aged Reserve
Another blend of Leon Millot, Lucie Kuhlmann, and Marechal Joffre – the same varietal components as the Petite Riviere's basic red bottling, the Cotes de LaHave Rouge, but picked at higher levels of ripeness (22 brix versus 16-18 brix) with some oak aging.
From the color, this wine is clearly different from the winery's staple red. The concentrated dark purple has my nose in high alert before I have stuck it in the glass. Ripe cherry fruit, anise, some oak sweetness and an underpinning of something herbaceous are all present. This is a powerful wine with a rich texture, a purity of fruit and chalk (am I seeing a trend here?). This is a well made wine from excellent fruit which shows huge promise for maturing in the bottle.
Every new wine region struggles to find the right terroir-varietal combinations, and the right varietal marriages for the bottle and marketplace. This particular hybrid combination may well be the signature “meritage” for this exciting new winegrowing region.
Reviewed December 9, 2003 by Mark DeWolf.
Mark DeWolf is a wine educator, sommelier and wine editor. His approach to wine judging and education comes from the heart. Great wine, like great food is not merely a matter of technical precision, it is about its ability to evoke emotion. According to Mark, a great wine is a passionate experience and should conjure images of the people who made it and the land from which it originated.