Petit Verdotn’t mind if I do! 10/03/11
It’s finally October, and fear is in the air. But eager as we all are to dress up like our favorite Twilight characters, stuff our faces with candy and have drunken anonymous sex with other people dressed up like our favorite Twilight characters, it’s important to remember that Halloween isn’t until the end of the month.
How, then, are we to keep ourselves occupied? I personally recommend wine, which has gotten me through more boring months than I care to remember (or can remember, what with all the wine I’ve been drinking). And with autumn weather rolling in – and raining down – I find that now is the perfect time to drink full-bodied reds again, without having to deal with that irksome, nagging feeling that I’m only doing it to be contrary.
The last wine I reviewed was a Cabernet Franc, which I identified as a somewhat lesser-known grape (one of five) used in red Bordeaux. Today I come before you with a Petit Verdot, without a doubt the grape least often booked as a solo act out of the proverbial bunch. This situation is made all the more insulting by the fact that Petit Verdot is also the last of the five alphabetically.
You may remember Petit Verdot as the first varietal I ever reviewed, way back in December of 2010. You may also remember it from my review back in April of this year, although that time it had assumed a clever disguise, coming before me in rosado form. But now you get to remember it as the grape I’m writing about at this very moment, one whose dark, full-bodied charms will surely make you forget about everything else you’ve ever loved.
The wine I’ll be discussing is the Finca Antigua 2008 Petit Verdot, from La Mancha, Spain. For those of you counting at home, this means two out of the three Petit Verdots I’ve reviewed have been Spanish, suggesting that Spanish wine is something I (and you!) should be buying more of. And since this cost me $13, I doubt that’ll be much of a problem.
In the glass this shone a very deep, dark red, practically opaque, but with brighter garnet coloring around the edges. The nose was wonderfully complex, much more so than I’d usually expect from a wine at this price point, with notes of chocolate, leather, black cherry, blueberry, and cigar box.
On the palate this wine was, as predicted, full-bodied, but the tannins were surprisingly tame. Acidity was bright, contributing to black cherry and raspberry notes. There was some licorice (the fennel-y kind) as well, and a peppery finish with some additional excess heat from alcohol. It was good on its own, but when I paired this with dark chocolate, I came to realize the true potential of dark chocolate: to be paired with Petit Verdot.
I award the Finca Antigua Petit Verdot thumbs up: an excellent wine for the price (and according to Google, the $13 I paid seems to be on the high end). Go buy it.