Mission Codename Nothing petit here
Man, we haven’t been this excited since they had BOGO avocados at the grocery store. And we LOVE a killer deal and some homemade guacamole.
But then we tasted THIS. And in a moment of profound psycho-spiritual clarity we all thought the same thing – this 3 barrels only Heritage Single Vineyard find is AMAZING.
The secret to this extreme value in one word? Livermore. How many Livermore wines are in your stash? Probably between zero and one.
Unless you bought the Occasio Cabernet we blew out last year - in which case you’re already halfway through checking out. Because you already know…
Once regarded as better than Napa, this region remains underrated today but is home to big names like Mirassou, Concannon, Steven Kent, and Wente. Charles Wetmore anyone?. You can find some SERIOUS value if you dig around.
Serious value doesn’t describe what we have here. It completely OBLITERATED everything in a five-foot radius at our recent tasting - big-name, expensive Napa reds included. It all starts to make sense when you learn Occasio founder/winemaker John Kinney was inspired by the philosophy of French great, Henri Jayer, the winemaker behind arguably the greatest of all Burgundies. And it shows. He’s fanatical about every aspect. Hand harvesting and hand sorting everything. Small production, obsessive focus (just over 50 cases made of this!). Choosing the absolute best American or French oak to bring out entire personalities. Micro-farming each vineyard plot to maximize its expression of terroir.
Boy does it show. Petit Verdot is more often a blending grape, but real ones know how well it does as a single varietal. SO much to love about this inky purple drink. It’s medium to full-bodied, but not thick or syrupy, with a lovely spectrum of deep red and black fruits. Ripe plums, black cherry pie, soaring violets, Nutella, crème de cassis, and crushed gravel flow under a glossy smooth texture. Perfectly integrated French oak adds a nice vanilla streak and carries an uber soft and polished mouthfeel. It’s a big wine, but not quite the teeth-staining, tannic knockout that some Petit Verdot can be if left rogue.
Occasio is a well-kept local secret, but it’s bound not to stay so for long at this rate of churning such delights back-to-back. What we can’t comprehend is how the wine press has yet to catch up. With the exception of Wine Enthusiast a couple of dozen 90+ reviews and Editors’ Choice awards for Occasio later, Occasio is clearly their pick of a Livermore superstar. They aptly praise one alike as “a sensational varietal Petit Verdot that’s rich and velvety, lush and intense, with a hint of Bordeaux’s typical herbiness, that evolves into some of the best blackberries, mocha, and spicy chocolate you can imagine. Winemaker John Kinney had originally planned to blend the two barrels that eventually became this wine. Be glad he didn’t.”
Exactly our sentiments.
The under $20 price makes this a serious contender for value of the year so far. We hoarded some for our own enjoyment. Now it’s your turn… while it lasts.
What the Winery Says
2017 'Heritage' Del Arroyo Vineyard Petit Verdot
- John Kinney
- 100% Petit Verdot
- Livermore Valley
- Del Arroyo Vineyard
- Harvest date
- October 13, 2017
- Brix at harvest
- Total acidity
- 6 g/L
- Bottling date
- October 29, 2019
- Release date
- May 2021
- 18 months
- 100% French oak, 1/3 new, 1/3 second, 1/3 third fill
- 3 barrels