2018 Verdon Estate Red Wine, Napa Valley, Blueline Vineyard
The Tasting Panel – 94/100
Another spectacular vintage. A very successful fermentation brought out the primary berry flavors that remained through harvest and made it all the way to the glass. Guaranteed to stop you in your tracks. Reminiscent of a top Amarone, the blend is ethereal with divine balance, a gentle grip, a deep berry richness that carries through to the finish. The subtle ripeness on the finish wraps it up neatly and demands a flash grilled steak or maybe some red sauce pasta with a generous serving of Parmigiano Reggiano. We recommend enjoying a glass or two on your sun drenched deck at around about 4pm.
The 2018 vintage provided an abundant growing season and produced outstanding fruit quality. The wine is generous with berry fruits, plum, spice and toasty oak. Maturation in French oak adds structure and complexity to the fruit flavors adding to the wines length and persistence.
We source grapes from a handful of small vineyards across the Napa Valley. Supporting their families while we build a series of wines influenced by the season and evolution in our winemaking.
Our Winemaker, Mr. K. Morrisey is our secret weapon. How else would you describe someone who has done as much in life and has achieved as much success? He started his illustrious career at Petrus, to then take the helm at Stags’ Leap Winery for 9 years and then ran the renowned Ehlers Estate. Mr. Morrisey donated every penny of its profits to cardiovascular research conducted throughout the world. We are proud and humbled by his heart and his artistry.
Truly exceptional wines. Born out of passion, dedication, and a love for the art of winemaking.
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Here’s the Tasting Panel review:
The Tasting Panel-Napa, CA-""A superb red, with aromas of briar-laden boysenberry, chocolate, and coffee bean. Rich on the palate, with melting dark chocolate, giving it a grainy mouthfeel. Sumptuous, almost chewy and meaty, with notes of iron and white pepper that wakes up the back of the palate.
2018 Verdon Estate Red Wine, Napa Valley, Blueline Vineyard
Hey all! My wife and I are excited to be ratting this 2018 Verdon Estate red blend. We received the shipment Wednesday, and the oddly cool D.C. weather that day meant that the bottle arrived at a decent temperature. We brought it to about 72 degrees and gave it an initial pour.
Color was a clear, tannat-like dark purple; cork was clean with minimal staining. Upon opening, I was blasted with candied strawberry in the air, confirmed by my initial tasting. My wife, by contrast, found the wine a bit closed, though still noting dry red fruit. (Perhaps I ate too many Jolly Ranchers as a child.)
We let the wine cool to 65 degrees as we finished making dinner and rounded up the kids. By then, about 30 minutes, the wine had started to show some vanilla, black pepper, and baking spices in addition to the fruit, which was trending darker. We also let the kids have a whiff.
8yo: It’s very dark raspberries!
4yo: It smells like something GRAPEY…[thinks hard] OH it IS grapes!
Dinner was a NY strip steak, an excellent pairing with the wine, and gumbo, which somewhat overpowered the Verdon. It went unexpectedly well with the kids’ mentaiko spaghetti (imagine clam chowder in pasta sauce form): The brininess of the noodles turned the already-gentle tannins velvety. We wanted to try a few more foods, but by now the kids had begun a rousing rendition of “This Old Man,” and further experimentation would have to wait until after bedtime.
By that point, about 3 hours, the wine had taken on earthy, savory aromas–mushrooms, Asian braising spices–along with leathery dried fruits on the palate reminiscent of an aged port. The vanilla and red berries remained front and center. It went perfectly with certain cheeses, such as several goudas, but strangely not with others such as Sardo. With country ham (sliced like prosciutto) the wine was a bit lost amidst the meatiness. But we nearly finished the bottle with one gouda, they worked so well together, stopping only to save some for…
Day 2: The wine held up well just corked in the wine fridge. No major changes from the previous night, though the earthiness was a little more prominent while the bottle was colder. As always, the kids put it best:
4yo: MMMMMMM, BLUUUUUEBERRRRRIES
8yo: Blueberries and grapes, with raspberry and a hint of pepper
This wine strikes me as versatile: The bright, juicy fruits would make it a great crowd pleaser at a party, but there’s enough nuance for some contemplative late-night sipping with the right meal (or cheese). I’m guessing it will age well too, given how it held up overnight. The case price is just about where we expected, and I’d be up for some were it not for our tiny condo shelves being full from recent purchases. Thanks so much to Alice and the WCC and Casemates folks for the opportunity to rat this bottle!
@CorTot@PaleMongo The amusing part is that it’s “Cellared and Bottled By” - which means they didn’t make (all of) the wine, but bought it in (and maybe did some blending, maybe not). Again, that doesn’t indicate it’s not good, but it does raise a question what their touted Mr. K. Morrisey … our secret weapon actually did with/to this wine.
Don’t joke about table grapes…back in the day a fair amount of California “Chablis” or “White Table Wine” was made from the noble (it is vitis vinifera) Thompson Seedless (aka Sultana) grape.
@CorTot@PaleMongo If they wanted to pay the Meritage Society they could have used the term “Meritage” on the label. Plus some people think “proprietary” means special
My biggest question is why you’d want to advertise that your Bordeaux-style blend from Napa smells like Amarone…made from utterly different varieties that are then raisined (intentionally) to concentrate the wine.
So I was hesitant about purchasing this offer after reviewing the rating notes and attempting to discern the differences, if any between the No 3 reserve 50/30/20 blend and the No 8. Called the agency and they were most helpful. Here is the story: The No 8 is the latest release. They had some No. 3 left over so they assigned it to Casemates. The No 3 is the one rated (94) and all the fruit is Blueline. I’m in for a case and would be willing to share So. NH/Boston area. Jon