IMG_3394‘Who am I you ask?  Let it be know that I am Amelior Amanitas, alchemist extraordinaire  and supreme sage of the north”. From Forgotten Realms, Dungeon & Dragons.  Impressive credentials , but totally unrated to our Amelior.

Our Amelior is a 750 ML bottle of delicious Petit Verdot wine.  However, our Amelior is as mysterious as the mythical Amelior Amanitas.  For the first time in my blog experience I have found almost nothing about this wine on the internet.

Let’s see if we can exegete this wine together. The wine is very good, exceptional in my humble opinion, and since I can’t find another review, I must be right!  Color Inky dark purple.  Pleasant nose.  I got violets and a hint of smoke.  Flavor think spice, chocolate, fig and plumbs.  Strong tannins.  Ideal for roasted meats.

The grape is Petit Verdot and since I can hear my wine drinking buddies yelling at me because I always mispronounce Petit Verdot that’s Puh-tee’ Vair-doe’.

100% Petit Verdot is  an uncommon wine.  Usually this grape plays a supporting role in Bordeaux blends or what we call a Meritage here in the United States.  A typical Meritage is a big does of Cabernet Sauvignon, say 60%, then a smaller amounts of Merlot or Malbec and even smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot.  By law a wine must contain at least 75% of one grape to  be labeled as that grape.  Many wines labeled as Cabernet Sauvignon are blend of 75% Cab and 25% others.  The bottle is still labeled as Cabernet Sauvignon.  Many wine makers, most notable Joseph Phelps, felt to make the best tasting wine using less than 75% of one grape would produce a better tasting product. As Aristotle said “the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts”.  So, a Meritage can be more interesting to drink than a single varietal.  Personally I like both the single varietal versions and the blends.  I have a very strong preference for Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Now let’s read the label.  The wine is from California.  That’s not surprising because most really good Petit Verdot’s are from California.  The California climate is idea for growing Petit Verdot. It’s a 2016 vintage, which according the Wine Spectator was a good year.  Still not much of a story.  2016 is a little young for a Petit Verdot.  Because they are very tannic they need some time to settle down.  2013 or 2014 would have been preferred.

Lets move to the back label.  Here is where things got a  little more interesting.  The wine was Vinted and Bottled by Incognito Wines, Parlier California.  I couldn’t find anything on Incognito wines.  But I swear I’ve heard that name before.  I check Cellar Tracker and found 14 wines produced by Incognito.  No producer website.  I had reached a dead end.

Okay, I bought the wine at a retail outlet called The Wine Cellar.  This is not your usual wine shop.  The Wine Cellar is a retail outlet for Laithwaite’s Wine.  Laithwaite is a huge wine club.  They might be a story all by themselves.  They are actually a few Wine Clubs; Wall Street Journal Wine club and i believe two others.  I’ve been drinking their wines for years, never had a bad one yet.  So I went to their website. Amelior was there, unreviewed.   Dead End

Went to Vivino.  Once agin Amelior was there.  4 .0 out of possible 5.0 top 5% of wine ratings.  Now I’m getting somewhere.  Had a few reviews all positive.  That’s where it ended.  No information on the Winery, or the wine maker.  No drink by date.  Nothing, another dead end.

They did list similar wines. Two common names emerge “Inkblot” and “Freak Show”  both are Michael David Winery wines.  Michael David also has a wine called “Incognito”.   Maybe a connection.  Micheal Divid Winery is in Lodi which is about 154 miles away from Parlier.  So my case is weak.  Both Inkblot and the Freak Show are Petit Verdot’s.  Ah, I’m grasping at straw.  My finial analysis is I don’t know.  All I know if I enjoyed the wine.  I’d buy it again.  I’d by a case if I knew how long it would age.  Right now all I know is what’s above.

Try a Petit Verdot.  If nothing else it will give you better appreciation of the red blends you are drinking now.  If anyone knows anything about Incognito Wines let me know.


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