PRIE Vineyards Petit Verdot: A Lovely Lodi Interpretation

This wine was provided as a tasting sample.

2013 PRIE Vineyards Petit Verdot2013 Prie Vineyards Petit Verdotdense ruby-violet color in the glass with generous dark berry, earth and plum aromas. Tart red fruit flavors combine with ripe blackberry and blueberry flavors along with hints of vanilla and spice. Juicy acidity underpins the bright fruit flavors and the body is on the light side of medium. Tannins are drying yet smooth. 13.1% abv. $27

This wine tastes lovely right out of the bottle, as described above. It’s a bit tart with drying tannins that make me think of a cool climate red wine. When we were given this wine by Phil Silver, marketing & distribution manager for PRIE Vineyards, he told us to decant the wine to give it some time to open up. We took that advice and after more than an hour, we re-tasted the wine. The evolution was surprising.

After decanting: blackberry and plum aromas predominate without the tart red fruit component. Berry and plum flavors are joined by toasty, coffee backnotes. Tannins remain drying and the finish is at least moderate in length with hints of vanilla on the finish. Again, lovely wine.

Which do I prefer? It’s a tough choice (OK, OK, I prefer it right out of the bottle). Either way, this wine offers elegance and depth of flavor without being too ripe. We enjoyed this wine with pork sliders and the pairing was delicious. Don’t hesitate to pair this lovely Petit Verdot with pizza, pasta or roast beef.

It should be noted this wine is 100% Petit Verdot and aged for 22 months in French and American oak — a combination of new and neutral oak. The source of the Petit Verdot, the tiny, .5-acre Hux Vineyard, is located in Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.

It is possible to enjoy wine on many levels. Some of us are happy to open a bottle of wine and simply enjoy the flavors. Others also dive into wine regions, grape varieties and winemaking techniques. Even fewer have the passion for actually making wine. Such is the case for Lisa and John Gash whose home winemaking experience led them to make wine on a commercial basis in 2010 and to establish PRIE Vineyards & Winery in Lodi. In 2012 the busy couple purchased a home and 10-acre vineyard on Alpine Road in Lodi where they established their winery and tasting room which opened in 2015. Through all of this both have maintained full-time careers in addition to the winery.

The well-known Soucie Vineyard in Lodi was the source of their first Lodi Zinfandel, though Zinfandel has not remained the focus of their winemaking. Their interests extend to Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Vermentino, Gewürztraminer and Dornfelder. A portion of their estate Cabernet Sauvignon has been re-planted to Picpoul Blanc and Grenache; some of the Cabernet Sauvignon has been grafted to Cabernet Franc. Clearly, John and Lisa are just getting started, both literally and figuratively. Their current production is in the 900 to 1200-case range. With this eclectic group of grape varieties to draw from, I expect many more interesting more wines from PRIE Vineyards & Winery.

You will find tasting room hours and location on the PRIE Vineyards & Winery website.


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