Today’s “Quick Sip” is the Glen Manor Vineyard’s 2005 Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot is one of the five red grape varieties currently used to make red Bordeaux and is rarely made into a varietal wine. Petit Verdot is used as a bit player in Bordeaux for adding namely color and structure as well as some flavor and aroma components to Bordeaux blends. In Virginia, Petit Verdot has found some success as a single varietal wine and admirers of the variety awe over its deep inky color and ability to produce a wine with size, structure, and oomph - especially since Cabernet Franc is not that wine, though some producers push it to be. In the vineyard, Petit Verdot ripens very late, but local growers don’t seem to experience problems ripening the variety as they do in Bordeaux. Virginia Petit Verdot wines generally have one thing in common; a lovely dark color. Anything beyond that, style and quality included, can be fairly inconsistent from producer to producer. Some examples are balanced and bold, others surprisingly friendly and bright, and many can boast appealing aromatics, while others are somewhat neutral and dull on the palate. The latter heightens the argument that Petit Verdot makes for a better blending agent than stand-alone wine. Every now and then in my Virginia wine experience, you open that one bottle at the right time that unveils the potential of what can be grown and produced here.
I recently had one of those wines; a 2005 Petit Verdot from Glen Manor Vineyards. Glen Manor Vineyards is owned and operated by wine-grower or vigneron as he calls himself, Jeff White. Jeff worked as a cellar-rat and grew wine grapes for Jim Law, owner and operator of Linen Vineyards from 1993 through 2005. Many local wine lovers, both in and out of the business, regard Linden Vineyards as the top producer of quality wine in the state, bar none. If fine wine is made in the vineyard, then Jeff's fruit, for a period, assisted in building Linden's good reputation. Glen Manor’s 2005 (100%) Petit Verdot is a stand-out wine, displaying a rich, deep, purple opaque color followed by bold aromas of luscious dark fruit, smoke, blueberry, and spice with hints of stewed prunes and anise. The palate is mouth-coating, alluring and muscular, yet balanced, with an assertive structure, firm but integrated tannins, ripe and round fruit, and a dry and lasting finish. What stands-out for me in this Petit Verdot is its richness, depth of flavor (intensity) and character, complexity, and overall completeness. This wine clocks in at 14.5% ABV, has a real cork enclosure, and unfortunately, is no longer available at the tasting room. This is when a friend with a few bottles in the cellar pays off! The current vintage of Glen Manor Vineyard’s Petit Verdot retails for $29, and if it is anything like the 2005, is a good buy. For those of you not familiar; Glen Manor Vineyards is located in Front Royal, Virginia, and is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated farm winery specializing in estate-grown wines. In my humble opinion, Jeff White’s mountain-slope site is producing some of the nicest wines in the state today. Get out and try some if you haven’t already!
Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at email@example.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come!
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