Rasa Vineyards is a Washington State winery project by brothers Billo and Pinto Naravane. In 2007 they both left a comfortable life in software development to jump headlong into their passion: creating wines with a sense of place. Just looking at the names of their wines will tell you that the wines are intended to tell a story: “Tilting at Windmills”, “In Order to Form a More Perfect Union”, and “Dream Deferred” etc…
“Living in the Limelight” is an ode to the often-overlooked Petite Verdot grape. Red Bordeaux wines are typically either dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot or both – with blending support from a variety of minor grapes such as Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. Cabernet Franc also gets a leading role in the wines of Chinon, while Malbec has found a home in the vineyards of Argentina. Petite Verdot however, has yet to find it’s starring role in the world. It’s not because it’s a poor grape – indeed, when successful, it can make a beautiful, complex wine. The simple truth is – it’s very difficult to ripen.
It’s always the latest-ripening varietal in Bordeaux – to the point where some years the entire crop is abandoned. Even its name alludes to this: “Petit Verdot” means “little green one” – referring to how the grape clusters can still be sitting there green on the vine when the other grapes are purple and ripe. In the long, hot, dry summers of the Columbia Valley however, the grape ripens consistently and beautifully. In this unique bottling from Rasa Vineyards, Petit Verdot gets its chance “In the Limelight.” Perhaps Washington can be Petit Verdot’s “happy home.” Ideally, decant 1 to 2 hours prior to drinking. This wine is as yet unrated, but previous vintages have consistently achieved 93 points and was twice selected as “Editor’s Choice” in Wine Enthusiast.
From the Winery:
Saturated dark purple in color with intense notes of ripe blackberry, black raspberry, black plum, huckleberry, clove, and smoldering incense. On the palate, high intensity flavors of blackberry, huckleberry, licorice, gravel, and dark chocolate. Nuances of dark chocolate, vanilla, and tar resonate on the long finish. High glycerol and high levels of dry extract with ripe, luscious tannins and vibrant acidity. With a proper decant, this wine can be enjoyed in the next year or two. It should reach optimal maturity in 6-8 years and hold for 10+ years.