Steven Kent 2009 Ghielmetti Vineyard Petit Verdot (Livermore Valley)

This small-lot Petit Verdot needs another 5–7 years to shine. There's an intensity of licorice, black fruit and chocolate that's detectable, but the oak and tannin structure loom ominously over the fruit right now. Heaviness on the palate is balanced as well by the wine's acidity, a feat for such a big-boned grape variety. Virginie Boone

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