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January 14, 2010 | JD DANIEL

Barrel Tasting in Napa Valley

Today, I had the opportunity to take the buyer from a major Cruise Line based out of Ft. Lauderdale and our wine broker barrel tasting at our winery. It is always a great day when you start barrel tasting at noon. Really, how can your day get any better? They were mostly interested in the higher end wines we are producing. We tasted through many lots today, woot –woot!! . The wines change so much in this stage that I always like to pick out a couple that are really rockin’. Today we are all flippin’ over the Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot. I love Petit Verdot; it is funky, fun, spicy and sooo rich. This is a wine that coats your mouth from front to back and leaves a crazy long finish. I think I am still chewing on it. Anyway, we only produce a couple barrels of Petit Verdot each year which we blend into our Cabernet and Meritage Blend. Petit Verdot was first planted in Bordeaux and grew well before cabernet. It is generally used in blends because some people feel it is a little too one dimensional, over- the top on the tannins and “not pretty enough” (some say it is one of the varietals that has no floral notes.) As my dad would say about wines (he loves Zinfandel) “Give me more spice babaaay!” & I myself say Bah –Hum- Bug to the disbelievers. I love it, I love it and I don’t care who knows it! It is different and unexpectedly rustic. The grape itself is a finicky little sucker, but packs a punch. Check out the following producers of Petit Verdot; Jarvis is my favorite and has awesome caves if you ever travel to Napa.

  • 2006 Jarvis Petit Verdot, Napa Valley
  • 2005 Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot
  • 2006 Mauricio Lorca Petit Verdot Gran Poetico
  • 2005 Murphy-Goode Estate Petit Verdot

So cheers to you Cruise Line Guy…….. We tasted through some great wines today… Now how about a few pallets of Napa Valley Cabernet for your brand new ships???? Oh and a Wine Club Event on your cruise to Mexico…hosted by yours truly and your new favorite Napa Valley winemaker.


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