2013JMCPV2013 J. McClelland Cellars, Petit Verdot, Napa Valley.
The beautifully purple black and garnet/ruby Petit Verdot by the recently launched J. McClelland Cellars, a new Napa Winery project by the Scotto Family who have brought two of Napa Valley’s cherished sons together to make an interesting series of limited production hand crafted wines. Old timer and Napa guru John McClelland, with a career spanning 57 years has been the prssident or GM at wineries like Geyer Peak, Alderbrook and even Almaden has joined the Scotto’s along with Napa’s Mitch Cosentino, a long time Napa favorite and native son winemaker, these two along with the talents of Paul Scotto, director of winemaking for the Scotto family and producer himself of small lot wines from old vines in the Sierra Foothills are making some really cool stuff, including this Petit Verdot and even a Calistoga sourced Charbono, all the wines are under 600 cases. The Oak Knoll District J. McClelland Cellars Petit Verdot, 90% Petit Verdot with 10 % Malbec from the opulent 2013 vintage is a rich and forward Napa wine with ripe details and sweet/smoky oak giving a decadence and clean modern density on the palate with blackberry, cherry, blueberry and currant compote fruit along with natural peppery/briar spice, floral tones, vanilla and lingering violet liqueur. This is what I remember about Mitch Cosentino’s style, lots of sweet fruit and backed up with dry spiciness, this wine tastes like if you took St. Emilion, a Mendoza Malbec and a Napa Cabernet all mixed into one wine, it shows refined, but firm tannin in a full bodied pleasing red wine, I’d say it falls a bit flat on the mid palate as sometimes the case with both Malbec and Petit Verdot in California, though over all it gives a solid experience and performance, best with cheeses and or grilled meats or duck breast. Petit Verdot, one of the Bordeaux varietals, as is Malbec are not easy grapes to grow, and it almost never is used as a single grape wine, it usually is added in small amounts to add color, floral notes and spice, but here it works pretty well, drink over the next 2 to 3 years.
($40 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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