2005 Twilight Cellars Velvet Petite Verdot

Mission Codename: The Elysian Fields

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Paso Robles, to our friends at Twilight Cellars/Thunderbolt Winery. In time for Thanksgiving delivery, secure an ample allocation of their boldly delicious Petite Verdot.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Twilight Cellars/Thunderbolt Winery

Wine Subject: 2005 Velvet – Paso Robles Petite Verdot

Winemaker: Richard Gumerman

Backgrounder: Paso Robles, in California’s Southern Central Coast region (San Luis Obisbo County) is one of California’s oldest and also newest wine growing regions. The first vines were planted in the late 1700s by the Spanish missionaries.

Paso’s unique climate, perhaps influences its vine more than any other area in California. The hot, dry weather that is only minimally effected by coastal fog and wine results in grapes that are more concentrated in flavor and intensity. This climate makes Paso uniquely suited to grow Petite Verdot. Used primarily as a blending component, this Bordeaux delicious varietal is usually characterized as intense, dark, and with powerful flavors. Today’s superior wine marks the first time we have shown a single-varietal Petite Verdot and we are thrilled with our find. Read Agent Red’ s mission report and tasting notes below for the full intel on today’s exciting

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Darkest ruby hues, with evenly-concentrated color – from center to edge. After swirling, densely-spaced legs start very high up on the glass wall. They take a very long time to emerge, but then march steadily down the glass to the wine below.

Smell – Deep and sweet, with aromatic blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and cherry out in front. These sit atop subtler earthen components on bramble, soft spice, dried violets, sweetwoods and a hint of sweet tobacco.

Feel – Round at light-weight, at first. Then, the wine settles onto the mid-palate where it takes on a medium weight and becomes almost chewy. Integrated tannins and a bright acidity contribute to the complexity of the wine.

Taste – Ripe and sweet-tart, with blackberry, black cherry, dried cranberry, dark raspberry, dried mission fig, smoky strawberry, dried black flower petals with a subtle spicy and flinty component at the end.

Finish – Long and very flavorful, with dark fruit that morphs from sweet to tart to softly smokey as a a soft, mineral laden dryness encroaches.

Conclusion – This is a really delicious example of Petite Verdot! What took our tasting panel most by surprise was the amount of red fruit that shone through on the nose and palate. The cherry, strawberry and raspberry components are fresh and bright. On the palate, the wine is approachable and friendly, not the brash beast that some Petite Verdot can be. This is impressive, given that this particular PV comes from Paso Robles, where red wine can have more in your face attitude – and flavors that can be rather over the top. Alarmingly, it has been nearly two years since we have featured a Petite Verdot and while we have been offered our fair share of them, none have impressed us enough to present them to you. Until today!

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Richard Gumerman

WINE EDUCATION: 5 years apprenticing at Wollersheim Winery during crush. Then 6 years here in Paso Robles making wine for 14 different clients and crushing up to 520 tons of grapes per year.

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF:Grew up in Milwaukee, WI and moved to Newport Beach, CA in 1986. Education at University of Notre Dame in Business Finance and Economics. Worked at many financial institutions including General Electric and Bank of America doing Information Technology jobs. Dabbled in growing wine grapes for over 10 years, especially in Prairie du Sac, WI where I farmed Marechal Foch.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Pick the grapes when they are ripe and make the smoothest full bodied wine you can get and age it a long time in oak barrels.


Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Twilight Vineyards Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.

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