Pollak Petit Verdot, and More

Jun 26

Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood won the Monticello Wine Trail Cup 2 weeks ago with their rich and powerful 2008 Petit Verdot. I was a judge in the competition and was impressed with the entire flight of varietal petit verdot wines regardless of vintage (see previous post); rich, deep, smooth and full of black fruit and herb/spice nuance but long smooth tannins…

So I got a chance to taste the wine while looking at the label, at Pollak’s first Friday Barbecue on June 25th. This was the first such event the winery has put on, and featured the vineyard manager’s own band, barbecue by Buck Island Barbecue, and lots of ’08, ’07 and ’09 wines from Pollak Vineyards.

I was expecting to be impressed by the ’08 petit verdot that me and other judges (blind of course) had chosen as the Monticello Cup winner. But before I describe that, other things that impressed me…

1) ’09 Pollak viognier. Ripe tropical fruit nose, smooth broad mid-palate, then Pow! Huge juicy tropical fruit with depth and weight in the finish! This is a rich, emphatic wine, but not too heavy, just weighty in a stylish way like Aretha Franklin…

2) ’09 Pollak reserve chardonnay. I’m not a fan of most chardonnays, especially the oakey, low acid reserves, but this is different. A nose of racy lemon/citrus and cream, with mineral hints, is followed by rich palate viscocity, prickly pear fruit and lusciousness, but finishes with crisp balancing acidity. I thought of Burgundy (Puligny-Montrachet) and winemaker Jake Bushing confirmed that these grapes (grown at 900 ft. elevation) are from Burgundian clones. Native yeast fermentation augmented by multiple commercial yeasts adds to the complexity. Drinking well but will improve for 2-3 years and then hold.

3) ’09 Pollak pinot gris. Great combination of ripe pinapple fruit and firm, full acidity to balance. A model for those doing pinot gris in Virginia.

4) ’07 Pollak meritage. A standard blend of 44% cabernet franc, 43% merlot and 13% petit verdot, this wine has an intriguing spicy red fruit bouquet, with fresh red fruits and savory herbs on the palate, dry but not too tannic, a fascinating and still evolving blend.

So…notes on the ’08 Pollak petit verdot (14 months in oak). Nose: spicy black fruits, lots of complex, rich oak and fruit integration. Palate: Wow!! Blows you right away with intense, rich and deep black fruits and firm tannins, with nice punchy spice notes, and the finish just keeps on. Very young, needs time. Will match with spicy barbecue for those who can handle the punch, but really rocks with a rich, not too sweet brownie, as the chocolate and long smooth tannins just make perfect…uh, harmony…This is a wine for a long winter’s night. Just how long, is up to you…

Sneak previews from the cellar: ’09 petit verdot; rich and aromatic but full and supple tannins; ’08 cabernet sauvignon: strikingly Haut Medoc-like cigar box and cassis nose, very smooth and long tannins, will be a classic for cabernet in Virginia; and an amazingly elegant viognier-based white port ’07: rich, spicy, full-bodied and smoooooooth…..

Remember…the last Friday of each summer month, the Pollak barbecue and band event will continue (from 5-9 p.m.)

One comment

  1. Terry Chevalier /

    Keep up the good work Richard. I was a big fan of the 07 Pollak Franc. I am amazed at how Pollak consistently gets its reds ripe without being unbalanced. They are making some fantastic european style wines – as opposed to California fruit bombs!

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