We were hosted by Nadine who was absolutely honest and helpful; we were happy to be interrupted by her frequent visitors who either wanted to taste as well, or were there to pick up their monthly wine selections (part of a wine club partnership they have with the CSA). And despite being relatively new the wine business, she knew what she needed to, had a great attitude (half the battle in sales) and was super willing to learn (most of the rest of what you need in sales--at the end of our tasting she asked, "So what am I doing wrong? I'd love for you to critique me.")
There was one wine, however, that quite surprised me: the 2013 Palmaris Petit Verdot. Despite the sweet and delicious smelling doughnuts, of which I probably should have bought some, this wine was deeply aromatic. Lavenders, sweet tobacco, and vanilla poured out of the glass. And there was plenty of flavor, too. Smokey plum and blackberries, chewy like I expect petit verdot to be, but not inky like many of them are. I thought it was really well balanced and had a great, long, silky finish. Palmaris is the high-end line of Tomasello, so I was hoping it would be good, and it didn't disappoint.
Maybe Petit Verdot has a good future here in the Garden State. It is a hardy variety and resistant to mold. It's dark, weighty flavors make it good to pair with game and lamb, or grilled foods, but it's propensity to be a little on the jammy side makes it good to pair with spicy foods as well. I'll be looking forward to tasting this wine more in the future, and hopefully finding other petit verdot bottlings from New Jersey. And if you get a chance, you should definitely pick up a bottle of this as well. It's not cheap, $50 a bottle, but this may be one of the few NJ wines that I think might actually be worth that.
Thanks again to Nadine for a great tasting and to Danny for taking me along for the ride. Santé!
Have you ever had any cool, unexpected wine experiences like this? Leave me a comment and tell me about it.