Opaque Petit Verdot 2015
The word ‘opaque’ means “impenetrable to light” and refers to the dark, inky, impenetrable color of our family’s Petit Verdot. Originally from Bordeaux, Petit Verdot is normally used for blending with other grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. We were so impressed by this wine from our estate vineyard in Paso Robles, that we bottled it without any blending. Along California’s Central Coast, the Paso Robles appellation of San Luis Obispo County provides an ideal climate for growing Petit Verdot. A dry climate with warm days allows from complete maturation of the grapes and create ripe fruit flavors. The maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean creates very cool nights, which preserve the natural acid balance of the grapes. The quality of the 2012 vintage was excellent. The weather was ideal with a long growing season that provided great “hang time” for the grapes. Winemakers Anthony Riboli and Arnaud Debons work closely with multiple vineyards from various districts within Paso Robles. All vineyard owners are long-term partners in this process. Each vineyard lot is fermented seperately to preserve the unique flavors of its terroir. After aging in French and American barrels for 24 months, our wine reveals ripe flavors of black plum and currant with accents of vanilla and dark chocolate. Structured tannins provide texture and depth with a lengthy finish. Enjoy the darkness!
Opaque means impenetrable to light and refers to the dark, inky, impenetrable color of our family’s award-winning wines. Our mission is to reveal the deep, dark, and bold flavors in every bottle.
The Riboli Family has made a steadfast commitment to producing the highest quality grapes from estate vineyards in two of the most prestigious regions along California’s central coast: Monterey and Paso Robles. Opaque Wines sourced from Paso Robles estate vineyards are meticulously farmed to yield grapes with concentrated flavors and aromas and our winemaking techniques create unique wines of the highest quality and character. They pay special attention to the cultivation of their vineyards, confident you’ll taste the fruits of their passion in the complexity of their wines.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
Producing full-bodied, rustic and deeply colored reds, Petit Verdot is one of the original Bordeaux varieties. Its bold structure, color and aromatics allow it to make a significant difference in blends with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc—even in modest amounts. While it isn’t planted in Bordeaux in great quantities anymore, it is showing a small revival in well-tended vineyards there. Petit Verdot can also produce phenomenal single-varietal wines in the hotter and drier subregions of Australia, South America, California and Washington State.
In the Glass
Petit Verdot makes an intriguing wine with qualities of blackberry, plum, blueberry or black cherry as well as violets and dried sage. Its thick skins result in a highly structured wine with tannins ranging from smooth to grainy, which take well to oak aging.
Roasted pork or grilled lamb kabobs, as well as barbeque and Mole dishes are wonderful. Hard and salty cheeses such as Pecorino, Manchego or aged cheddar can make fun pairings alongside Petit Verdot.
Petit Verdot finds a happy home also in some regions of Spain and Portugal. It is well regarded in Spain’s Castilla-La Mancha and Catalunya as well as in in Portugal’s Alentejo where it blends well with the regions' indigenous varieties.