Jeff’s Corner 12-18-20

Hello, Hello,

This is from Jeff’s Corner dated 1-31-20: “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.”

Well, the ’17 Invention exceeded its hype and quickly became the darling (along with Bellissimo) of the outstanding 2017 vintage. We had to say goodbye a few weeks ago and the few bottles we have are safely hidden from our cat, Rio Frio.

Also from last year’s story: “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.

I’m asked often about why we have “Petit” Verdot and “Petite” Sirah, and we owe our big thanks to my extraordinary co-worker Julia Dickens who researched the answer. Well, like Bellissimo and Bellissima, it’s a gender thing. Verdot is masculine and calls for a masculine descriptor, which is petit (the second “t” is silent). Sirah is feminine, so the descriptor, petite, is feminine as well with a hard “t”. Thanks, Julia!

To me, as much as I loved the ’17, the ’18 is every bit its equal. 100% Texas High Plains Petit Verdot, the wine is a dense, inky purple/black, with a reasonable ABV of 13.9%

This dark and brooding wine shows lovely floral aromas of violet and lilac balanced with black plum, blackberry, fresh-cracked black pepper, espresso, licorice and leather.  

The palate is richly layered, with aromas and flavors that continue to evolve as the wine develops in the glass. An aggressive mouth-feel, highlighted by firm tannins and a generous helping of oak, with a long finish balanced by both fruit and structure, promise years of graceful aging.

38 years ago or so, when Kath and I first visited Crested Butte to see her sister Kerry and husband Bill, we had dinner at their friends and they roasted an elk tenderloin in their fire place and served it with a heavenly green peppercorn sauce. That’s what Kath and I want with this wine for Christmas dinner!

Celebrate the season, and please be safe.