Browne Family Vineyards 2013 Petit Verdot, Columbia Valley, $35

browne-family-vineyards-petit-verdot-2013-bottleFor the second straight vintage, veteran Walla Walla winemaker John Freeman has earned our top rating for the stately Petit Verdot bottled under the name of his boss – Precept Wine CEO Andrew Browne. The work, once again, starts at Canyon Vineyard Ranch  near Prosser, Wash., followed by 22 months in a program dominated in new French oak. That combination yields a theme of inky blueberry, black currant and plum with dusty rose petal elegance, smoky white pepper and raisin bran dust. And while there’s power to the tannins, that structure shows itself as espresso grounds with a finish of pomegranate, bittersweet chocolate and leather. Suggested pairings range from venison, elk or goat to an Oliva Serie G cigar.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 257 cases

Alcohol: 14.01%

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