Steven Kent Ghielmetti Vineyard Petit Verdot 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Livermore Valley has a long, dedicated history of growing the “Bordeaux” varietals, and in particular Cabernet Sauvignon. In the 1880s, pioneering winegrowers began to discover the potential of the Livermore Valley region. Then, as today, L.V.’s climate and soils closely resemble those of Bordeaux’s famed left bank of the Gironde. By the turn of the last century, Livermore Valley was already far ahead of its Napa Valley neighbor in specializing in the Bordeaux varieties. Our goal at Steven Kent is to carry on that tradition.
They have worked joyously and strenuously to know their vineyards; to learn how their fruit expresses itself from those sites; to discover the best winemaking and barrel regimens that translates those grapes into world-class vintages. They are very gratified that customers, critics, and collectors alike consider our “historic Cabernet” to be an essential addition to their table, their “best of lists,” and their cellars”.
A warm sub-appellation of the greater San Francisco Bay AVA (American Viticultural Area), Livermore Valley mainly hides behind the shielding effects of the bay’s eastern hills. However, late afternoon winds cool down summer nights as daytime heat rises from the Central Valley in the east, pulling the cold, foggy, bay air inland. This cooler evening air permeates the Livermore Valley's foothills, making this an ideal environment for the development of phenolic ripeness and concentration in its wine grapes.
The Livermore Valley is one of California's oldest wine regions and has played a crucial role in shaping California's wine industry. Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley in the 1760s. Then in the mid 1800s, a man named Robert Livermore planted the area’s first commercial vineyards. Winemaker pioneer C. H. Wente arrived a few years later; today the Wente Chardonnay clone is the source of a majority of California Chardonnay. Furthermore, James Concannon and the Wetmore brothers recognized the virtues of the area’s Bordeaux-like gravel soils and dedicated themselves to making high quality wine from Bordeaux varieties. Today the area is also known for high quality Petite Sirah.
One of the original Bordeaux varieties, Petit Verdot has a bold structure, color and aromas, which allow it to make a significant difference in Bordeaux Blends—even in modest amounts. While it isn’t planted in Bordeaux in great quantities anymore, its virtues are increasingly identified elsewhere. Somm Secret—Producing phenomenal single-varietal wines in hot and dry locations in the New World, Petit Verdot also finds a happy home in parts of Spain as well as in in Portugal’s Alentejo where it gracefully blends with the regions' indigenous varieties.