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2004 RM Reserve “Nelwood” Petit Verdot

October 11, 2007

grp_petite_verdot.gif ~$22US 100% Petit Verdot, South Australia, Australia

Purchased “for educational purposes”; I rarely see single-variety Petit Verdot, especially from South Australia, so this was really a curiosity. Great deep red, garnet color. Opaque. The nose was interesting – my initial reaction was Shiraz-like, big, with spices and lush red and black fruits. Some veggy notes also – sugar-snap peas, and tomatoes. Then the oak-beastie busted in…and made it’s presence known. With a little air, the oak played out via vanilla and butterscotch notes, growing equal to the fruits. Berry-fruit trifle with butterscotch custard. The palate showed that this indeed is a big wine – not a fruit bomb, but a sturdy, fruity, oaky, tannic sweet-and-sour bomb. The components, including a welcomed acidity, were held in fairly good balance and integration. Leather, Spanish cedar, blueberry and black cherry flavors abounded. Only the finish was a little awkward, with juicy fruit notes at odds with aggressive mouth-drying tannins. I like this wine – while the oak was probably a bit over-the-top, it all came together tasting delicious.

A well-crafted wine that showed Petit Verdot’s strengths in a big way, without revealing the deficiencies.

Retasted on day 2 (Vac-u-vinned)
Deliciousness greatly reduced. Only over-oakiness remained, with massive butterscotch and a hint of cherry. Disjointed.

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