This year, July 13th was a Friday and at the Entaste office Friday is the best day of the week. Why? Because it’s the day we stop working at around five and we start doing the thing we like the most, tasting wine!
This time the theme was Petit Verdot. We had three wines from Mendoza from different climates, altitude and vintages.
The first wine we had was 2010 Tomero Reserva Petit Verdot (a Carlos Pulenta wine) from the cool climate region of Valle de Uco. It had a bright and clear red color with purple hues. On the nose it showed subtle aromas of vegetables rather than fruit. Slightly herbaceous with hints of fennel, it also offered a touch of spice such as white pepper. Rich spice flavors were abundant on the palate as well as strong tannins and crisp acidity. Finishing with medium length, this wine appeared to be a great expression of a young Petit Verdot that could also reward those who offer it time.
We then moved on to 2009 Ruca Malen Petit Verdot (of Bodega Ruca Malen), from Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo. Unfortunately, this one was not as good as we expected. It showed just a hint of tobacco and mature fruit aromas on the nose and it was hard on the mouth, with astringent tannins and a salty aftertaste.
Luckily, we had a better time with the 2007 Monte Cinco Petit Verdot (of Monte Cinco winery), from Medrano, Lujan de Cuyo. This wine had a clear red color with dark ruby hues which showed some evolution. It turned out to be a forward wine with developed aromas on the nose such as dark chocolate, a strong hint of toasted almonds and a leafy character. In the mouth it was velvety with firm tannins and still maintaining a lively acidity.
I think we all agreed on one thing: Petit Verdot is definitely a keeper! It has a lot to offer not only when it is part of a blend but also when it’s vinified on its own. It is better appreciated with a meal that has the same degree of complexity and diversity of flavors and aromas. And these are just a few samples, there are a lot more out there waiting to be tasted. The question is, are you up to it?