Andrew Rich 2005 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Petit Verdot (Columbia Valley (WA))

Fans of Petite Sirah may wish to turn their attention to this rising star grape, at least as it's being grown and made here in Washington. This potent wine is dark, tannic and muscular, yet retains a sense of proportion and restraint, with alcohol just a tad over 14%. As grown at this all-star Red Mountain vineyard and made by the incomparable Andrew Rich, it is a tour de force. Black fruits, smoke, tar, lead pencil – all the good dark stuff – are tied together with brambly berry highlights. Though still young, chewy and tough, it's already delicious. Give it plenty of air. Paul Gregutt

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