Producer: Bedell Cellars
AVA: North Fork of Long island AVA (New York)
Grapes: 100% petit verdot
* Review sample provided by the winery
Bedell Cellars 2017 Petit Verdot
There was a time when petit verdot was exclusively used as a blending grape by Long Island winemakers. With its dark color, bright acidity and grippy tannins it has long been a popular way to “beef up” other red bottlings, including Bordeaux-style blends.
That's changing over the past ten-plus years, however.
Bedell Cellars winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich made one of the first varietal petit verdots that I can remember in 2004 when he was the winemaker at nearby Raphael. “Over the last decade I’ve found petit verdot to be one of the best—if not the best—red wine of any vintage,” he told me recently.
His 2017 from Bedell is lightly toasted at the edges, with ripe blueberry and plum fruit and notes of spice and violets. As it sits in the glass, a coffee note emerges as well as a mineral-y, almost meaty one. Think salt-cured meat.
Well-balanced and both fresh and age-worthy, this is the kind of wine that makes you wonder why petit verdot isn’t even more common on its own—especially as our climate changes and gets warmer (even if climate change also brings unpredictable weather as well).