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Ste. Chapelle 2015 Panoramic Series Petit Verdot, Snake River Valley, $28
The most versatile site in the Idaho wine industry is Sawtooth Vineyard, and it’s the source for many of its top wines from several wineries. Before the move of Sawtooth’s production facility to Ste. Chapelle, Meredith Smith had the benefit of working within walking distance of this block, and her knowledge shows with this big Bordeaux grape that’s traditionally been a blender because of its sinewy structure. She had this harvested Oct. 1 during the record-warm vintage of 2015, and it spent 20 months in eight barrels, four of them were new French oak. Hence, the nose of vanilla bean and toast that mixes with black cherry, cassis and Raisin Bran. Dense blue fruit flavors and nicely resolved tannins for a Petit Verdot make for a long finish of sweet boysenberry that allows this to drink more like a smooth Cab. Suggested pairings include roasted rosemary lamb, pepper crusted steak and grilled vegetables.
Production: 206 cases