51Weeks Winemaking 2014 Petit Verdot

Out of chaos, came clarity. And wine.

Steel is forged in fire. Diamonds come from geologic pressure. And the best wines come from vines that struggle and thirst.

For Matt and Nancy Vuylsteke, the name "51 Weeks" represents a period in their lives where they faced chaos, tragedy, and loss - bookended by the wonder of the birth of their "Irish twin" girls, just 51 weeks apart.

As Nancy says, "It was from this utter chaos that our priorities became crystal clear. What nearly killed us became a catalyst . ... After a jarring, life altering period of exactly 51 weeks, everything in our world changed. Out of the chaos, came clarity. And wine."

After years of working in wineries - as a cellar rat, winemaker, and winery management consultant - Matt is the chief winemaker. And Nancy is the chief "of everything else". 51 Weeks represents their commitment to a deeply personal and family-focused approach to winemaking.

One that reflects their genuine, warm, and welcoming attitude.

Producing just a few hundred cases a year at the Southeast Wine Collective, 51 Weeks wines can be hard to find - and they're worth savoring every single drop.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

51Weeks Winemaking, Portland, Oregon
2014 Petit Verdot

Grown mostly in the Bordeaux region in France, Petit Verdot often frustrates winemakers and vineyard managers. The name translates to "little green", a reference to the fact that the grapes will often fail to ripen - by legend, only once every four years. When it does ripen, it's often too late in the season to be included in the classic Bordeaux blends. As a result, French winemakers have largely left it behind.

But here in the New World, it ripens more reliably. Still typically used as a blending grape (to "stiffen" or "season" Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots), Petit Verdot adds deep inky color, powerful tannins, and leathery and peppery notes.

One commentator wrote that it's "never" produced as a single varietal. Well, here you are. The 51 Weeks edition is a bold wine with a strong blueberry jam and leather aroma, with flavors of dark blackberry, vanilla, and spice. Pay attention, and you'll notice subtle coconut and floral notes that give it a lift. Put a steak on the grill and crack this extraordinary wine open. Just 52 cases produced.

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2016, Back to School: Unusual Varietals Columbia Valley | Petit Verdot

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