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Wine Blogging Wednesday 70 – Spanish Wine – A Cool, Unique Find!

Today marks the return of Wine Blogging Wednesday to the blogosphere – the 70th monthly installment.  I’m glad to see WBW return from the brief hiatus since this monthly virtual tasting is a great way for wine folks to interact and make new connections.  Back in the day I participated nearly every month and always looked forward to the interaction and learning more about other’s wine preferences and tastes.  I even hosted the next to last WBW #68 – Got Gamay? (I’m thinking there is no correlation to my hosting and the WBW hiatus that ensued.)

Our hosts for the return of WBW70 are Ryan and Gabriella Opaz of Catavino – an excellent site dedicated to providing information on the wines of the Iberian Peninsula.  For this month’s WBW we were charged with flexing our creative muscles and seeking out a Spanish wine we’ve never had before.   An interesting theme to be sure.

Since I’m in New Mexico this week, finding that right bottle for the tasting took several visits to Albuquerque ‘wine shops‘ (irrelevant side note:  Interesting how many liquor stores call themselves wine shops in New Mexico).  On my third stop, I found an interesting Spanish wine that I’ve never had before and thought would make an excellent entry for this month’s WBW – a 100% Petit Verdot from the Jumilla region.  A very cool and unique find in my book!

I’m a huge fan of the oft under-rated Petit Verdot, and have had many from other regions, but this is my first time tasting a 100% Petit Verdot from Spain.  Petit Verdot is one of the six noble grapes of Bordeaux, but is often relegated to second string as a blending grape (in small amounts) used to add tannin, flavor and in particular color to a blend.  This little beauty of a grape seems to thrive in my home state of Virginia and is growing in popularity amongst winemakers and consumers here.

Nudo 2007 Petit Verdot Private Collection, $16.99 – Since I’m on the road this week, I paired this with pre-grilled steak and pesto from WholeFoods, and Tyler Cowen’s newly released 15,000 word essay, The Great Stagnation.    Deep dark purple in the glass, this wine had a nose of dark berries, some funky funk (I like) earthiness, violets, and spice.  In the mouth, this was much lighter than expected with cedar, dark cherry, and even pepper notes.  Perhaps I’m just too partial to Virginia Petit Verdot, but I was expecting more from this wine – more character, more tannin, more, well… Petit Verdot.   I enjoyed this wine from the perspective of trying a varietal that I dig from a new ‘place,’ but I’m not sure I’ll would seek this particular bottle out again.   

I do plan to revisit this bottle tomorrow night, but am not expecting too much change.

I wish I had planned further ahead and found this wine sooner so I could have a Virginia-Spain Petit Verdot comparative tasting. 

Hat tip to Lenn Thompson for brining back Wine Blogging Wednesday, and to Ryan and Gabriella for an interesting theme this month.  Looking forward to many more monthly WBW episodes!

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