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An amazing dark garnet in the glass and bursting with dense, dark fruit and spice on the nose, this 100% Petit Verdot is bright, juicy and fresh, and made for drinking!
Not often seen by itself, Petit Verdot is generally found in Bordeaux, where it is most commonly used to impart colour and herbaceousness in a blend.
Here, the Petit Verdot was biodynamically farmed on the Murray River in Australia, and was made into a standalone wine by Bill Downie as a seperate project for the year.
Jancis Robinson, April 2017 (2015 Vintage)
"This delicious wine is remarkable in myriad respects. I must say that whenever I taste a 100% Petit Verdot in Bordeaux I absolutely understand why it is viewed as quintessential blending material there. It seems to lack flesh and sometimes is a little too herbaceous.
But Australia, or more specifically the irrigated inland Riverland region of south-east Australia, seems capable of producing fully ripe, almost lip-smacking examples of this Bordelais variety. And to find this is made from bumptious, biodynamically grown grapes is another bonus.
Put this together with the fact that the winemaker is one of Australia's most admired new wave young(ish) producers and you have a bit of a winner. Bill Downie runs a small estate – just half a hectare – in Gippsland on the Victorian coast, where he makes seriously ambitious Pinot Noir grown there, in Yarra Valley and on the Mornington Peninsula. He realised, however, that to keep his little family show on the road financially he needed a bit more cash flow so looked for opportunities to make an interesting faster-maturing product and looked to a biodynamically certified planting of Petit Verdot in Riverland, all of it contracted to the substantial family company Yalumba.
'The inland areas get an unfairly bad rap', he told me last May, citing operators such as Ricca Terra, Chalmers and 919 Wines that are also busy proving that good wines can come out of the irrigated inland wine regions that depend for their existence on the lazy Murray river.
He added, 'Petit Verdot is virtually bombproof. You can vinify it without acidification, although you will always have to irrigate.'
When I tasted it then, I wrote this tasting note: 'Lovely bright crimson. Definitely Bordelais. Picked early February. Vinified and screwcapped at Yalumba (Downie is a firm believer in old-fashioned corks for his terroir-driven Pinots.) Fresh and fruity par excellence. You wouldn't want to keep this but it has lots of clean, fresh fruit. Absolutely aimed at wine-bar drinking. 16/20 Drink 2015-17. 13.5%'
But when I tasted this unfiltered, unsulphured wine made with wild yeast again recently I was most impressed by how well it had lasted. It's really at its peak now but it still has some structure and real vigour. Today I would give it 16.5 and suggest drinking it right through until the end of next year."
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Phone: 03 3655134
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