Jeff’s Corner

Hey, Hey, Hey

It’s difficult for me to remember a Grape Creek wine with a more anticipated release than our 2017 Invention. The staff, and our loyal Wine Club members, were at a fevered pitch between its debut in the Black Label December allocation and when it finally appeared on our tasting bar in early January.

Invention is 100% Texas Petit Verdot, a grape being recognized as a rising star in both the Hill Country and the High Plains. We’ll talk more about this awesome wine in a moment, but first let’s check out this very ancient grape.

Petit Verdot (which translates loosely as “little green one” due to its late ripening) is one of the five major red blending grapes in Bordeaux, but because it ripens so late and is undependable, it is used sparingly. (In Texas, the fact it ripens late is a huge asset because the grapes hang on the vine longer.) When blended in small amounts, it adds dense color and greater structure to a wine.

Petit Verdot is perhaps a cross between Tressot and Duras (two grapes originally planted by the Romans in Bordeaux), but its origins are shrouded in time. It’s greatest popularity was in the 1700’s, but it fell out of favor because of its unpredictability. Petit Verdot is also known as Verdot Rouge, Carmelin, Bouton, and Petit Verdaut.

Invention, like Serendipity, was a bit of an accident. We really didn’t plan on adding a new wine to our portfolio, but in 2015 the Petit Verdot from Russell Lepard Vineyards (which we typically blended into Mosaic) was so incredible that we decided to bottle 100 cases. It developed beautifully, we contracted more High Plains Petit Verdot, and Invention was reality.

Dark, brooding, and mysterious, Invention is an impenetrable purple/black hue. It is a richly extracted, tightly packed wine that unfolds layers upon layers of intrigue. This is a seductively elegant, elusive, and austere wine.
Aromas and flavors of ripe currant, cracked black pepper, black plum, cinnamon toast, cedar, espresso, and dark cocoa are supported by rich tannins and a sweet French oak finish. With a subtle, yet aggressive palate, our first Invention should evolve gracefully for 5-8 years.

I recommend  decanting for about an hour, with a serving temp between 60 and 65*. Kath and I had this spectacular wine on Christmas Day with a Chateaubriand grilled over hickory and a horseradish sauce, au gratin potatoes, and sautéed asparagus. Without a doubt, it was a pretty good match…