Our estate Margarita Vineyard enjoys optimal growing conditions for Petit Verdot, resulting in a wine that exhibits a pure expression of the varietal, including intense color, racy flavors and fresh natural acidity. To craft this limited-edition wine, we selected exemplary barrels from the 2010 vintage to offer a rare showcase for the varietal. This Petit Verdot belongs to our White Label series, which signifies small lots of the highest quality expressed through alternative varietals and unconventional blends.
The 2010 Petit Verdot offers deep aromas of black cherry and black currant with hints of lavender and pencil shavings. A high-toned texture unfolds with a brambly melding of red and black fruits, all carried elegantly by a core of fresh acidity. Intriguing notes of black tea, oak and mineral linger on a clean, focused finish.
The 2010 Petit Verdot comes from Block 44 at our estate Margarita Vineyard. Block 44 is a small northeast-facing block planted to two clones along a ribbon of sandstone and rocky shale—a soil profile that fosters a firm texture and vivid varietal fruit quality in the resulting wine. For this bottling, we selected fruit from only the steepest part of the block, where low yields provide natural flavor intensification. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles AVA, nestled into the rugged Santa Lucia Mountain Range just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The mountains tower over the property’s western flank, testaments to the tectonic forces that blessed Margarita Vineyard with a rare diversity of soils. The peaks also act as a gateway between the cool marine air to the south and warm inland conditions to the north. This phenomenon creates one of the coolest growing environments in the Paso Robles region. The result is a long growing season that, coupled with Petit Verdot’s penchant for late ripening, yields a wine with exotic aromas and beautiful structure.
Our aim is to craft a Petit Verdot that is inherently dark, complex and thoughtful in scope. To achieve this vision, we aged the wine for 22 months in French oak barrels from a range of different coopers. One type of barrel leans more toward vanilla components and another contributes mid-palate tannin, while another lends smokiness—all building complexity into the wine. In 2010, the fruit was hand harvested at Block 44 on November 5 after a long growing season. After gentle destemming, the wine was fermented in small open-top bins. The must was manually punched down three times daily for balanced extraction. After gentle pressing, the wine was racked to barrels for aging. A small lot of Cabernet Franc from Margarita Vineyard was incorporated into the final blend for aromatic freshness and an enhanced red fruit profile. In order to capture the fruit’s inherent textural qualities, the wine was not filtered prior to bottling.
Petit Verdot (94%) and Cabernet Franc (6%)