2016 Stymie Bench Vineyard Lake County Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot •Stymie Bench Vineyard
California: Lake County
Our guard was completely down. We had ZERO expectations in all honesty, not in any direction, be it negative or positive. All it took was a single sniff and sip. Utter disbelief. This knocked our socks off blew our hair back, shocked and awed. You know it hits you much harder when you’re not expecting it. How can a little, tiny Petit Verdot from Lake County be this good??!!
Some of us have been in this wine business long enough to remember how HOT Steele wines were in the 1990s when they hit the scene. A little digging reveals such praise from Robert Parker, “Formerly the winemaker at Kendall-Jackson, Jed Steele is to be highly commended for his debut releases… If Mr. Steele is able to follow up on quality such as this in California’s better vintages, he will quickly establish himself as one of the superstars of his profession. His wines possess great fruit, excellent to outstanding richness, and superb purity and focus. None of his wines is excessively woody.”
Big words, right? Well, guess what? NOTHING has seemed to change while we all slept on the wheel all these years, as this red is OFF THE CHARTS for what we were able to bring the price down to! So, all we ask of you today, dear Operative, is that do us a solid and clean us out before we pillage it all for our own piles. We mean that from the bottom of our hearts, the bottom of our glasses, and the empty bottle on the desk here…
A stunning, vivid ruby enlaced with dimensions of purples and blues floating within. One sniff and you did not know that so much candied cherry was possible on a nose, along with dusty earth and spice. The big burst continues with vibrant strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, pomegranate, nutmeg… fill in these blanks with your own as we can’t stop sipping this beauty. Juicy acidity carries it through to an extended crescendo of fruit, savory, and an intriguing mouthfeel of milk chocolate on the finish. If you’re into that touch of Pinot personality disorder in your Bordeaux varietals, this has your name on it. There’s so much to love here, and just as much to pair with this juicy red, begging for its place on your Thanksgiving table, and beyond.
Jed Steele is a beacon in Lake County, as the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out this year, “Steele Wines was founded in 1991 and gradually became the most famous Lake County wine brand. By then, Jed Steele was already an established winemaker, having begun his career at Stony Hill Vineyard in Napa Valley in 1968 and later becoming the head winemaker at Kendall-Jackson…”
Not to Steele from Jed’s spotlight, but what about the real star of this show?
Decanter highlights Petit Verdot’s hidden potential, “can make a big difference to the finished wine… It’s rare to see a single varietal Petit Verdot wine, but this tough, thick-skinned grape known for producing richly concentrated, tannic red wine is not necessarily to be dismissed… some producers have had success with single varietal wines and the grape’s proponents argue that it deserves more than a mere supporting role.”
And we found the PERFECT example. Too bad only 3 barrels were made and by the time we negotiated this insane deal, most of it was already spoken for sadly, so we grabbed what we could… be nimble, and you will thank us for it!
A stunning, vivid ruby enlaced with dimensions of purples and blues floating within
Did not know that so much candied cherry was possible on a nose, along with dusty earth and spice
A big burst continues with vibrant strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, pomegranate, nutmeg…
Juicy acidity carries it through to an extended crescendo of fruit, savory, and an intriguing mouthfeel of milk chocolate
So much to love here, and so much to pair with this juicy red, begging for its place on your Thanksgiving table, and beyond
What the Winery Says
- Jed Steele
- 100% Petit Verdot
- Red Hills, Lake County
- Stymie Bench Vineyard
- Vine age
- 15 years average
- Total acidity
- 6.0 g/L
- Residual sugar
- 0.01 g/L
- 3 tons/acre
- 24 months
- 20% new American & Hungarian oak
- 3 barrels