Pictured are three Bordeaux bottles in front of a map of Vvardenfell. Earlier this week I had the chance to evaluate our Bordeaux varietal wines at the Lodi Wine Visitor Center. My focus was to determine the drinking window of these young wines.
2014 Cabernet Franc
This is the earliest drinking of the three. It's showing really well right now and continues to develop bottle bouquet. I'll revisit these periodically but this one is just coming into its own and should be good for at least five years. Pop the cork, pour it and enjoy!
2014 Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot is more often used for blending to contribute structure and phenolics to a blend. On its own Petit Verdot can be austere and backwards when young and this one is no exception. If you pop the cork and immediately drink it, it comes across like a young Bordeaux. There are some techniques to get it to loosen up and reveal itself, such as decanting and aerating. Since evaluating this a few days ago and observing how premature this wine is, I've put it in a decanter and revisited it over the course of a day, and am happy to see the tannins soften and aromatics emerge. If you can decant it the morning of, that should help. I estimate this needs at least 2 years to start to unwind and should be at it's best starting in five years (2021) and probably developing for another ten years. Like young Bordeaux wines, if you do want to enjoy it before the window, it pays to aerate it and be patient.
This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot is getting the best of both worlds. It's already enjoyable now and there's no need to decant it to make it enjoyable (though one certainly could). It also looks to have a long life ahead of it and should evolve for many years. This is one of those wines to buy by the case and have one once a year and keep track of as it matures. I really believe in blending reds because each varietal has different phenolics, and when they intermingle and polymerize, become more complex than if the blending components were kept separate. This means the wine will age well and get more complex with time.
Please enjoy these wines with us and share your thoughts. Being a new winery making ageworthy wines means we have a lot to look forward to, and this story is just getting started.