Episode #22 Petit Chardonnay

We’ve all had Chardonnay, but have you ever had 100% Petit Verdot? My recent trip to Spokane’s Latah Creek was a pleasant surprise. In my mind I thought Latah Creek was all about sweet wines (not my favorites) like their Huckleberry Wine or Maywine. I was blown away by the quality of their Merlot, Vinosity (Red Blend), and the Petit Verdot.

The NectarView

2007 Chardonnay

  • The Stuff: 100% Chardonnay from Connor Lee Vineyards with 100% Malolactic fermentation. Two months in French oak. 760 cases
  • The Swirl: Thicker viscosity, more pale yellow than a traditional CA Chardonnay.
  • The Sniff: Mild nose with hints of pear and honey
  • The Sip: Big and rich butter, vanilla and pear. No oak to speak of. Felt thick and meaty. Finished with a beautiful acidity that washed across the back of my mouth.
  • The Score: At a retail price of $12, this is a very well made Chardonnay. I score it a 4+. So far this is one of the best “value” Chardonnay’s that I’ve had. Kudo’s, Mike!

I’m not really a Chardonnay fan but this was an incredible offering for the money. I would venture to guess that it could be found for under $10 in certain locations, depending on sales.

2006 Winemakers Reserve Petit Verdot

  • The Stuff: 100% Petit Verdot from Alice Vineyards
  • The Swirl: Dark inky plum with beautiful legs after heavy swirl
  • The Sniff: Slightly musty and earth smell. Pencil shavings and banana. Not overly fruity at first. Eventually opened up to express some flower (Violets I think).
  • The Sip: A very diverse tasting wine. It seemed to have different characteristics each time I sipped it. Started to pick up on the blackberry and it tasted floral and slightly sour cherries. Not tart on the back end and surprisingly smooth drinking.
  • The Score: At $30 retail, I score this wine a solid 4. I would buy it again because of the variety of flavor and how different it is compared to the majority of other Washington reds.

This wine is a perfect example of how tastes can vary between individuals. While I felt it was a very well made wine with  lots of character and interest, my wife didn’t care for it too much. For me this further solidifies the need for a variety of reviews. Don’t just trust Wine & Spectator’s 100pt scoring.  Read tasting notes and reviews. Over time, you’ll know whether you like sour cherries or barnyard. If a wine is described like that, chances are you may not enjoy it, so why drop the cash.

Washington is growing some fantastic fruit. Over the next few years you will start to see more Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Mourvedre, and possibly more Petit Verdot. There is more to WA than your standard Bordeaux fruit.

Continue to explore new tastes, expand your palate and try not to ALWAYS drink the same thing. Life is meant to be enjoyed with friends, so DRINK.HAPPY!


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

15 comments on “Episode #22 Petit Chardonnay

  1. kevin - WineDudeOnline

    Like the piece today. I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of Petit Verdot on its own. I think that it is a tad to sour/tart for my liking, but think that it is a great blending grape.

    PS good luck at Changs. hope you do well and have a good time in our state!


    1. drinknectar

      Thanks, Kevin! I’ll back in Phoenix in April – If you live in / near the area, we should go tasting some wines together!


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  4. Ben Simons

    I have a bottle of Barnard Griffin Petit Verdot waiting to be opened, which will be my first experience with a Washington Petit Verdot. Your review certainly makes this one sound very intriguing. Might have to give it a try next time I’m in Washington.

  5. Frank Gutierrez

    Thanks for posting this wine review. I love Petit Verdot and I’m very curious to try this one. Is it available commercially or direct? As of now the best Petit Verdot I’ve ever tried is Murphy-Goode’s Alexander Valley 2005.

    1. drinknectar

      Frank, this particular wine is only available from the winery. If you need any help getting some, let me know, I can help make arrangements.


  6. MichiganByTheBottle

    I really love your video style– I believe this is the future of wine blogs. Keep up the great work! I have not had straight Petit Verdot, but now I have to go find some.

    1. drinknectar

      Mich – wow, I am flattered. I agree I think more text bloggers will go toward video. The challenge is keeping the video shorter so people will watch it. I’m not GaryV, so people won’t listen to me for 20 minutes. I want to provide the sensory experiences on video and the extra details in the text.


  7. Chris Broholm

    Nice review Josh, sounds like you found some great value there! I do believe the lesser known varietals are going to explode soon. I recently had a Californian Mourvedre! That’s a really, really interesting glass of wine – let me tell you.

    Do you review European wine also or only American?

    1. drinknectar

      Chris, I would say my reviews are 80% NW and 15% other US and 5% out of US. I hope to expand that more in 2010 with my Wine Century challenge!


  8. Randy Watson

    Can’t wait to go to WA and see what’s up first hand!

  9. Natalie Conway-Barnes

    Thanks Josh for you reviews of our wines! We will call on you in the future when we have new wines. Look for our new red blend (Monarch Red) to be released hopefully end of April! Thanks again. Natalie

    1. drinknectar

      Natalie, the pleasure was mine. I really enjoyed the Petit Verdot

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