Wine impresario Philip James could be considered the future of the wine business. He doesn't own a winery. He doesn't own vineyards. But he knows people who do. So, he buys select lots of wine and blends them - beautifully, but with discretion - to come up with a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
If James had to grow the grapes and make the wine himself, the cost to produce it would be triple, at least. Most of the wines in this price category are made by entrepreneurial winemakers like James. If you had to invest in the growing and vinifying process as well as blending, you'd go broke.
The caveat in all this is that the wine has to be good - even better than good - or nobody would care what the price was. It looks good on paper, sounds good as an idea, but the finished product has got to shine.
Lots of bad things can happen to a wine before it's bottled and even afterward. So, great care must be taken at these stages. More importantly, when you're blending a finnicky grape like Petit Verdot, you not only have to like what you taste now, but you have to project what it will taste like in the bottle after a few years. Easier said than done.
Obviously, these guys have done this before and know what they're doing. Petit Verdot is mainly used as a blending grape and is rarely bottled on its own. But when you get a winner like this one, you are, shall we say, impressed?
From its deep color to the scents of currant and licorice and on through the tantalizing finish, this wine pleases at very turn.