Bitner Vineyards 2016 Petit Verdot/Merlot, Snake River Valley $40

By on January 11, 2021

While Syrah, Tempranillo and Malbec are rightfully viewed as the red varieties that producers in Idaho’s Snake River Valley are most bullish on, Petit Verdot recently became part of that discussion. In fact, a Petit Verdot was selected by a panel of judges from beyond the Gem State as the best red wine at the 2019 Idaho Wine Competition. Greg Koenig, the longtime winemaker for the Bitner family, uses the traditional Bordeaux blender as the lead — 71% — of this bottling. Both blocks were planted by Ron Bitner near the tasting room in 2002, and in the 2016 vintage, the Petit Verdot was allowed to hang until Nov. 4. A concentration of earth and terroir welcome you and tie you in with crayola box and violets. Dark brambly fruit that moves right into black tea, cassis and a hint of mint. This wine is is tightly wound with tannin and backbone and will age nicely with the bright acidity that streams through it. Potentially a lamb ragu would take the edge to a really interesting place. It merited a gold medal last fall at the 2020 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 154 cases

Alcohol: 14%

Winery’s website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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