2018 Jon Nathaniel Estate Vineyard Petit Verdot
We didn’t intend to make this Petit Verdot as a single varietal, but when we tasted it out of barrel, we knew it was something special. Made from hillside fruit grown in the Jon Nathaniel Estate Vineyard at the end of West Zinfandel Lane in Rutherford, this wine shows what Petit Verdot can be when grown in an ideal site and farmed to ensure the vines are balanced and the fruit ripens evenly. We selected the finest barrel of Petit Verdot from the 2018 vintage, bottling it on its own exclusively for our Jon Nathaniel allocation members.
The 2018 Petit Verdot is sourced from Jon Nathaniel’s estate-owned vineyard in the Rutherford appellation of Napa Valley. Situated in the heart of Napa Valley, this low-yielding hillside site enjoys a warm, sunny climate, cool evenings and well-drained, rocky/loam soils. We tend these vineyards by hand with copious canopy management and fruit culling to ensure small yields of beautifully rich and concentrated fruit. The grapes for this wine were hand-picked in small lots as selected blocks achieved ripeness.
After arriving at the winery the grapes were cold soaked for four days to extract color, flavor and tannin, and then placed in small stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Once dry, the wine aged for 18 months in French (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels. After tasting through each barrel, John and Nat Komes chose one barrel to bottle on its own as a single varietal Petit Verdot.
2018 brought a long, steady and near-ideal growing season to Napa Valley with moderate weather in spring and summer and no significant heat spikes. Harvest was later than in recent years, with continued mild weather through the fall that allowed grapes to gradually ripen and develop both sweetness and acidity. Overall it was an uneventful and fine growing season yielding wines of intensity, concentration and balance.
This is a bold, full-bodied wine with flavors of blackberry, dark plum and blueberry leading to intriguing herb and floral notes including lavender and sage. The pronounced tannins are softened by the oak aging which brings in notes of vanilla, espresso and dark chocolate. The finish is long and smooth with a hint of smoke and cedar. Suitable for cellaring for at least ten years, this wine will also offer immediate drinking pleasure, especially with hearty foods such as stews and braises.
Varietals: 100% Petit Verdot
Appellation: Napa Valley
Aging: 18 months in French (80%) and American (20%) oak barrels