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swirl and savor

Wine of the Moment, 2010 Treasure Hunter Violet Whip

Beth Ribblett

One of our reps wandered in about 2 weeks ago with a wine broker in tow and a bag full of wine.  It was early, I had just opened the shop with a fresh palate and clear head and was ready to see what they had to offer.  There were about 8 wines in the bag and as we moved down line, there was nothing I didn't like, but also nothing that made me pause and go back for a second taste until...

As soon as I put my nose in the glass I knew immediately that it didn't matter what it was or where it was from, but I had to have it.  Crazy aromas of ripe plums and blackberries, mocha, caramel and spice, I would have never guessed that it was Petit Verdot from California's famed Paso Robles region. Long a “secret weapon” in the Bordeaux winemaker’s arsenal, Petit Verdot is one of the five main varieties that are used in red blends in the Bordeaux style. Usually added in small amounts to add color, structural elements, and aromatic complexity, this grape variety is seldom seen on its own and rarely in California.

Rich and full on the palate, velvety texture, totally integrated oak and deep black fruit with a long finish;  I've never seen the label before, never tasted anything like it, ever, so needless to say I was intrigued. "So what's the story on this one?" I ask. Fittingly called "Treasure Hunter" it's basically from a virtual winery where a group of nine top sommeliers, winemakers and restaurateurs are taking advantage of lots of high end wines from noteworthy producers that, for one reason or another, need to be unloaded.  The group pours through hundreds of wines before they find something deemed worthy. Each wine is a small one-time offering and represents an extraordinary opportunity to drink amazing wines at a third of what they would usually sell for. Liquid rubies and drops of gold. Treasure Hunters we are - or so we are told. - from their website...

Super delicious, distinctive, and like nothing you've never had before!  They only made 180 cases of this and we've gone through almost five already!  We'll be getting more by the end of the week but you better get you some before it's gone!  Buy it by the glass at the bar or by the bottle on the shelves for $22 which is a steal for the quality of this wine.

2010 Treasure Hunter Petit Verdot Violet Whip Paso Robles
Tasting notes from their website:
Petit Verdot grape predates Cabernet Sauvignon. It ripens very late which means it has longer than almost any other grape to mature and gather intensity from the sun. In California it is rare and is the most expensive grape there is. We have been searching for three years for a perfect lot of Petit and we present it to you here. Only 180 cases made!

Darker than a pomegranate seed this wine shows so much intensity you may have to have someone tie you to a chair to truly appreciate the ravishing potency of this wine. The safe word here is “WHIP”. The nose on this wine explodes with violet, spice and molasses. On the palate it is an unfettered harlot showing voluptuous blackberry, black cherry and plum. This wines climax is long and oh so satisfying.