What We Say 2010 Carlton Brooke Petit Verdot
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is the best Petit Verdot we have ever reviewed for one of our daily wine features! This is very high praise, as we have featured some real doozies in the last 4+ years. Don’t miss out on this remarkable opportunity.
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Mission Codename: Bold Elegance
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: For our Elite Operatives, return to Ty Caton Vineyards, and retrieve Ty’s stellar, limited-production, fantastically delicious, Petite Verdot
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ty Caton Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2010 Carlton Brooke Petite Verdot – Sandy Brooke Vineyards
Winemaker: Ty Caton
Backgrounder: The Sonoma Valley AVA is one of the oldest wine growing regions in California with the first vines being planted in the early 1800s. The AVA is located along California Route 12 and its eastern boundary are the southern end of the Mayacamas mountains. The unique micro-climate with less rainfall and fog than other parts of the region along with its unique soil provides ideal growing conditions for red wine varietals.
Petit Verdot is perhaps most famous as a secondary blending grape for the great wines of Bordeaux. Its intrinsic value is that it adds balance, mid palate structure and acidity to its blending brethren. When made into a 100% varietal wine, the late ripening Petit Verdot presents its own unique quality and character, producing wines of exceptional aroma, structure and flavor.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Intense and inky dark burgundy, in the glass, this wine shows deep and even coloration from core to edge. Swirl the wine and it glints with bright purple as light shines through. As the wine settles, tall columns of thin, wine-stained tears move slowly down the glass wall.
Smell – Deeply aromatic, with layer upon layer of lush fragrances that leap from the glass. This wine exudes dark cherry cordial, jammy blueberry, blackberry, dried flowers, and soft lavender. Just behind these, cigar box, earth, black cherry and hard leather follow.
Feel – Voluptuous and full, this wine instantly fills the palate, coating the tongue and spreading to the lips and cheeks. True to varietal character, plush tannins move a pleasing, slowly spreading dryness around the palate.
Taste – Ripe blackberry, cherry cordial and blueberry take the lead, quickly followed by dark cranberry, bramble, dried black rose petals, soft spice, supple leather, subtle anise and a tender hint of black pepper.
Finish – Ultra-long and very flavorful, with long-lingering black fruit that very gradually gives way to earthy flavors, soft minerals and softer pepper.
Conclusion – Prepare to be blown away! Today’s 2010 Carlton Brooke Petite Verdot, from our friend Ty Caton, is an extraordinary P.V. In fact, I declare this wine to be the best Petite Verdot I have personally reviewed for these pages. This big, bold, beauty has its own finesse and poise, delivering an elegant drinking experience. Bold Elegance may seem contradictory, but this wine pulls it off. Bold, delicious flavors are delivered onto the palate with a suppleness that will surprise you. Yes, there is plenty of tannin from the fruit (with just a hint from the toasty oak), but there is also so much genuine fruit flavor. If you love great Petite Verdot, you really love today’s exceptional offering from Ty Caton.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Ty Caton
WINE EDUCATION: Various classes at UC Davis, most importantly on the job training.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Minimal intervention – our goal is to let the grapes tell their own story without intervening
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Actively Seeking Excellence
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: December, 2002
AGENT RED: Greetings, Ty. We are thrilled to be showing your 2010 Carlton Brooke Petit Verdot today. We always really love your wines, Ty, and today’s is really pretty spectacular.
TY: Thanks, Agent Red!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
TY: Wine tasting in Napa with my cousins.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
TY: Peter Mathis of Ravenswood
RED: Who do you make wine for?
TY: I’m a pleaser by nature – I enjoy entertaining people and wine is intricate part of the socialization process, which I love!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
TY: This wine is made from a 2 acre vineyard behind my parents’ house. It’s the 3rd vintage from the property. Due to the extreme heat wave experienced in the late summer, coupled with the small young canopy, we only crushed 1.5 tons of grapes which yielded 117 cases of Petit Verdot.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
TY: Anything, this is a great wine with food or sipped by itself.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Sonoma Valley such a special place for Petit Verdot?
TY: When I said I wanted to plant Petit Verdot, some said it wasn’t hot enough. I did it anyways, and we’ve had great success. Each vintage gets better. You can grow just about anything in Sonoma Valley, depending on the micro-climates.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
TY: We just completed our first analysis and tasting of the 2011 wines and are topping the barrels right now. It was the most challenging year of my career, but we’ll be able to make very good wine from the 2011 vintage. We made the right decisions.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
TY: These wines are somewhat of a cross over – they can be sipped by themselves or enjoyed with a meal.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
TY: Our vineyard grapes are grown certified sustainable through Farming For Flavors grape growing program.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
TY: Thanks Red, for the opportunity!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Ty Caton Vineyards & winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This third vintage from this vineyard has yielded a wine that expresses fruit flavors of cherry liqueur with hints of lavender and crème de mint. Sweet overtones of caramel dominate the oak impression followed by silky and seductive tannins.
About The Winery:
Ty Caton Vineyards is dedicated to creating wines of distinction with an authentic sense of place. Our commitment to excellence begins in the Caton Vineyard, where Winemaker Ty Caton sustainably farms all of the grapes used in our Sonoma Valley wine. As one of the few exclusively estate producers in Sonoma Valley, California, Ty personally works with the grapes from soil to glass. He handcrafts his wines in small lots with an acute awareness of the land that enables him to make wines that truly showcase the vineyards. Ty Caton Vineyards is forging a new definition of quality in winemaking and Actively Seeking Excellence.
About The Vineyard:
CATON VINEYARD – Located in the foothills of Sonoma Valley, the Caton Vineyard is defined by its sustainable farming and belief that healthier vineyards produce very unique and distinctive wines. The vineyards have multiple sun exposures, soil types, and vary in altitude over 300 feet between each other. Our meticulous farming practices showcase the love for our land and our passion for the wines that come from it.
We achieve wines of authenticity by working with nature to showcase the true flavors of the grapes. Ty Caton personally manages the entire winemaking process, from planting the vines, to farming the grapes, to making the wine here in Sonoma Valley. By using exclusively estate grown grapes he is able to have complete control over the process and personally tend to the wine from soil to glass. His acute awareness of the land enables him to make wines that show the great potential of the vineyard site.
Ty Caton’s philosophy is that wine is a natural product and should be treated as such. His winemaking uses limited intervention, which allows the wines to speak for themselves and import the true expression of the vineyard. He ferments with wild yeast that naturally occurs in the grapes so that the wines are manipulated as little as possible. As a Sonoma Valley winemaker and grape grower he strives to produce the ‘wow factor’ by creating wines that are bold, highly extracted and beautifully structured. Ty Caton believes that blending is an art form and uses master blending techniques to combine different grape varieties and clones to create wines with many layers of complexity in aroma and flavor. By allowing the grapes to show their true character and enhancing it through blending, Ty Caton is forging a new definition of quality in Sonoma Valley winemaking.
Varietal: 100% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Sonoma Valley
Vineyard: SandyBrooke Vineyards
Farming Practices: Sustainable
Production: 120 Cases
Bottled: February 2012