It’s been over a month since I had what I would label a Beth’s Smart Sip, but this past week, I tasted another wine from Coquerel Wines. Coquerel had sent to me a selection of samples last fall and it’s taken me until now to taste them because I tend to select wines to taste based on my mood and palate. I know, I am such a girl. Four of them I already tasted and reviewed: the 2012 Coquerel Petite Sirah, 2012 Le Petit Coquerel Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Coquerel Wines Tempranillo, and the 2013 Coquerel Terroir Sauvignon Blanc, all estate except for the first sauvignon blanc. The tempranillo and verdelho had originally piqued my curiosity because they are not standard fare for the Napa Valley, so this week, last, but definitely not least, I tasted the verdelho.
Verdelho, a grape usually used to produce Madeira, a fortified wine, finds itself in Calistoga of all places, on Coquerel Wines’ seven-acre estate in their Walnut Wash Vineyard, handcrafted into a dry, white wine. In the glass, it’s a pale, greenish-yellow color. Even with some bottle age, this wine, fermented and aged in stainless steel for seven months, is vibrantly fruity, dominated by grapefruit, lemon, and lime, with tingly, zesty acidity. Sur lie bâtonnage adds texture and mouthfeel to the palate. I imagine pairing this wine with a variety shellfish (I paired it with shrimp) or just sipping it on my patio on a warm spring or summer day. Only 417 cases of this wine were produced. 13.3% ABV. $22 direct from the winery.
This wine is fascinating, unlike anything I’ve had in a long time. It’s also easy on the wallet, estate grown and produced, and it has a screw cap closure, which makes it even easier to enjoy anywhere. Because of these factors, and the fact that it’s darn good, the 2013 Le Petit Coquerel Verdelho is not only a Beth’s Smart Sip, but also my wine of the week.