2018 Peterson Bradford Mountain 3V White Wine, Dry Creek Valley
Enticing, almost perfumey aromatics of lime zest and gooseberry are laced with hints of pear, Meyer lemon, and floral notes. The rich, creamy mouthfeel is balanced with refreshing acidity. Citrus-driven flavors fill the palate with a delicious blend of lime, pink grapefruit, and lemon, along with pineapple, green apple, and traces of ginger. The layers of flavors keep on giving into the finish as the wine’s essence lingers on.
With its bright acidity and unique flavor profile, this wine is easy to pair. Try it with sautéed chicken cutlets with a rosemary-garlic-Dijon sauce, or parchment-baked halibut with thyme and olives.
A few years ago, I developed a couple of additional acres of plantable land next to one of the ponds on my Bradford Mountain property. Having grown fond of Mediterranean white wines, I decided to plant an acre of this land to Vermentino, Verdelho, and Vernaccia. The grapes in the 3V blend are exclusively from this site.
The even 2018 growing season allowed all three “V” grapes to develop closely together, though the smaller Verdelho crop made for an earlier ripening time. We harvested just under a ton of the Verdelho in early September, and over a week later, more than a ton of each Vermentino and Vernaccia on the same day, and then pressed them together so they could coferment in tank and barrel. By cofermenting the wine early on, the flavors begin to seamlessly merge and the resulting wine is smooth, rich and offers the same depth as months of bottle aging.
Peterson Winery has been producing wine in Dry Creek Valley for 30 years and, like most wineries in the Valley, produces Zinfandel as well as other wines. Yet a closer look shows that is where the similarities end.
Owner Fred Peterson is an iconoclast with an old-world winemaking philosophy and a reverence for sustainable farming. The Peterson approach is to capture the essence of vintage and vineyard—a philosophy they call Zero Manipulation—with low tech, yet high touch, to produce wines of a place, wines with soul.
The evolution of Peterson wines and winemaking accelerated when Fred’s son Jamie became assistant winemaker in the summer of 2002. In 2006, after moving from the tiny red barn on Lytton Springs to Timber Crest Farms, Jamie was given the overall responsibilities as winemaker. As a winegrowing team, Fred and Jamie assess the grapes from each vineyard and vintage as the season progresses, evaluating how the weather, soil, and site are interacting for the particular vintage.
At Peterson winery, the winemaking process begins while the grapes are still on the vines. Zero Manipulation is a discipline the Petersons follow to capture the character and balance of inherent in the grapes. Zero Manipulation means using the gentlest, traditional winemaking practices possible to maximize the flavors, aromatics and texture of the wines. Fred and Jamie celebrate vintage differences and don’t tweak or homogenize the wine to obtain consistency of flavors, a common practice in mass-market wineries. For Fred and Jamie, Peterson Winery is all about the wines. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll see the heart and soul that goes into every bottle.
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I’m thrilled to be a Labrat for the: 2018 Peterson V3 White Blend (Bradford Mountain Vineyard). With the blend being Vermentino, Verdelho, and Vernaccia (hence the V3), I knew from the outset that is would not be a delicate wallflower in a glass! This white wine is big and brassy as it arrives to the party!
Right away in the glass, I found aromas of lychee and grass, with a funky hit of “American lager beer” and petrol. Huh! Bold from the outset. No prissy lemons or grapefruit in my glass! Even after nearly 10 minutes in the glass, the lager and petrol aromas remain. (Note, it’s not a heavy petrol aroma.)
On the palate, this wine likes to sit really forward. It is sharp and has an acidic bite on the leading edge. The petroleum funk and the “lager” flavor continues. Even after 10 minutes in the glass, the forward edges of the palate hold onto their sharpness (rather like grapefruit peel). The “lager” flavors are still very prevalent. Overall the mouthfeel is astringent without drying out the tongue. The wine has a medium finish.
This is a bold wine, and not the usual “summer patio sipper” vein that some might be thinking. Are you up for its big, brassy party?
@cjsiege Thank you for the review!! We do call this our “white wine for red wine drinkers” sometimes, since it’s definitely not a one truck pony/one note wine, between the three varietals, and the mix of wood types. Glad you enjoyed!!!
Just a quick check in, and thank you to WCC for featuring the 3V. Since first making the wine in 2011 and playing around with different barrel type regimens, picking and fermenting separately, and other variables, I feel like we’re really hitting our stride with this unique mix.
Hope everyone enjoys!!