2004 Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot •Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT
Today’s wine is an incredible wine, delivering a richness and balance that make us thrilled to be presenting it to you today
END OF VINTAGE ALERT:
Today’s wine will sell out today. Act quickly before our Operatives purchase the remaining quantity of today’s exceptional wine.
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Mission Codename: Not in Kansas any more
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure an exclusive single varietal Petite Verdot for our more adventurous operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Truchard Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2004 Petite Verdot
Winemaker: Sal De Ianni
Used primarily as a blending component, this Bordeaux varietal is usually characterized as intense, dark, and with powerful flavors. Today’s superior wine marks the first time we have shown a single-varietal Petite Verdot and we are thrilled with our find. Read Agent Red’ s mission report and tasting notes below for the full intel on today’s exciting
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deepest burgundy with concentrated color through its deep-space heart. When swirled, this wine shows a springy surface that settles quickly, leaving behind forking and very skinny legs
Smell – Deeply aromatic, with bold rushes of dark mixed berries, dried flowers, cigar box, earth, soft vanilla and dark cherry
Feel – Round at light for just an instant, then quickly large and mouth coating with supple tannins and a pleasant warming sensation
Taste – Flavors of ripe blackberry, smoky black cherry, cassis, slightly tart cranberry and raspberry, followed by a flinty mineral component, smoky spice and a hint of licorice
Finish – This wine finishes long with lingering aromas and flavors of its delicious fruit
Conclusion – I was absolutely blown away by this wine! I have tasted Petite Verdot in the past, but not like this particular shining example. If you love PV, then I promise you that you will LOVE this bold yet balanced wine from Truchard. From its deep aromatics – that had me sniffing long before I ever took a sip – to its luxurious feel, to its richly layered flavors, I may have just found myself a new personal Top Ten wine. I love this Petite Verdot from Truchard!
Here is a recap of our original mission to Truchard Vineyards:
AGENT BLUSH: Have you seen Agent Red today? GPS tracking puts him here at H.Q., but he’s not in his office.
AGENT SPARKLE: Did you check the cave? I heard him complaining about our recent lack of Cab Franc, so my guess is that you’ll find him there.
BLUSH: Not again… I have some surveillance reports to go over with him.
Our intrepid female agents make their way down to the Wine Spies Top Secret Wine Cave, somewhere in deep in wine country. There, they hear the mournful found of harmonica playing from deep within the cave.
IN UNISON: Agent Rrrrrrrrrr-ed!?
The harmonica abruptly stops.
AGENT RED: Over here…
SPARKLE: What’s up, Red? Why are you moping way down here?
Her inquiry is met with silence.
BLUSH: You know what this looks like, Agent Sparkle?
SPARKLE: No. It couldn’t be. It’s too soon.
BLUSH It’s a good thing you planned for just this emergency, Sparkle.
With this, our lady Agents take Agent Red by the hands, and lead him to a small anteroom, just off the main barrel chamber.
SPARKLE: Red. Sit. Now.
BLUSH: Now, Agent Red. Do as she says.
Slowly, Agent Red looks from Agent to Agent. Seeing that they mean business, he slowly sits down.
Agent Sparkle removes a painting from the wall, to reveal a small wall safe. Holding her eye to the retina scanner the safe emits a soft beep and then slowly hisses open. Agent Sparkle reaches in and pulls out a bottle of wine. Agent Red rolls his eyes and then yaws. That is, until he sees the label.
AGENT RED: You got a Truchard Cabernet Franc?1 A 2004?! HOW?
SPARKLE: That’s tradecraft, Red. I could tell you but…
ALL THREE AGENTS: “… you know!”
As old as that joke is among these veteran Wine Spies, the three agents laugh at their so called humor.
In the end, Agent Red was made whole again, and his tasting of the Truchard Cabernet Franc led to his insistence that the wine be shared with our Operatives today. As usual, our lady agents were one step ahead of Agent Red, for they had already procured an exclusive quantity for today!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Truchard winery, which can be visited by appointment only, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Petit Verdot is considered one of the five “Bordeaux” varieties. This thick-skinned, late ripening grape produces a very dark, tannic, and fragrant wine. It has traditionally been used as a blender (to add color and structure) in Bordeaux wines, primarily in the southern Médoc. In 2000, one acre of Petit Verdot was planted in an isolated valley on the Truchard Estate Vineyard. The resulting wine is dark purple, with floral aromas, and an intense fruity flavor. Rich aromas of violet, blueberry, and ripe plum; with hints of cedar, tobacco, and vanilla. The mouth is smooth – full of black cherry, cranberry, and cassis. Round tannins fill out the palate and provide an long finish of fruit and spice.
About The Vineyard:
The Truchard Estate Vineyard is located in the Carneros region of the Napa Valley. It is 380 acres of hills and valleys, which contain a variety of soils: clay, shale, sandstone, limestone, volcanic ash and rock. The combination of terrain, geology, and marine-moderated temperatures, provides ideal conditions for wine-growing. Cabernet Franc is planted in several different sites – on steep southwest-facing hillsides. The vines range from 8 to 22 years old, and produce wines that are deep in color, dominated by lush flavors of plum, berry, and spice. Cabernet Sauvignon which grows on adjacent blocks is blended in to provide firmness, complexity, and added age ability.
About The Winery:
Truchard Vineyards is a small family owned winery in Carneros region of Napa Valley. Proprietors Tony and Jo Ann Truchard have managed a successful vineyard and grown exceptional grapes for over 30 years. Through their hard work and devotion to this unique property, they helped pioneer grapegrowing in the Carneros. In 1989 the Truchards established a winery and began producing wines using only their estate-grown fruit.
About The Winemaker:
Sal De Ianni: I was born and raised in Greenfield, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. I attended Marquette University, and graduated in 1991 with a BS in Chemistry. In the fall of 1991 I moved to Evanston, Illinois, and began graduate studies at Northwestern University. My goal was to earn a Ph. D. in Analytical Chemistry, then find a well-paying job doing research and development. While at Northwestern, I enrolled in some wine appreciation classes hoping to break up the monotony of my research. Six months later the wine courses were more interesting than my research; I decided that I would rather pursue a wine-related job than a career in chemistry. By December of 1992 I had earned a MS in Analytical Chemistry; that same month I was accepted to the Viticulture and Enology department at UC Davis. I moved to California in May of 1993 and began classes that fall.
I worked my first harvest in 1994 at Hess Collection Winery. I spent 6 months in the cellar, and then returned to school. During the 1995 vintage, I worked at Cuvaison Winery, in both the cellar and the lab. After six months, I went back to Davis to finish my thesis:
“Investigating Methods of Detecting Urea in Wine.” In the summer of 1996, I received my MS in Enology and returned to Cuvaison for the upcoming harvest, as the enologist.
Immediately after harvest I was offered the opportunity work in Margaret River, Western Australia. I would be the “
temporary” winemaker at a small ultra-premium winery – Pierro Margaret River Vineyards. I left for Australia in January 1997 and returned to Cuvaison in August, just in time for the 1997 harvest there in California.
After my winemaking experience in Australia, it was hard to go back to being an enologist; so I began searching for a winemaking position in the Napa Valley. I answered a help-wanted ad the local paper which read “small, family-owned winery looking for a hands-on winemaker.” I joined Tony and Jo Ann Truchard at Truchard Vineyards in January 1998.