By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Jamesport_07pv In recent years, a handful of North Fork wineries have released varietal petit verdot wines, almost always from superior vintages because it is one of the last varieties to ripen each year.

Jamesport Vineyards 2007 Petit Verdot Reserve ($100) is the producers first 100% petit verdot and is by far the most expensive of the local lot.

And there is a lot to like about this intense, powerhouse of a wine.

Brooding, dense black fruit aromas dominate the nose — black currant, blackberries and blueberries — with black licorice, vanilla and black pepper accents.

Despite gobs of similar sweet black fruit and ripe tannins on the palate, there is nice acidity that keeps it surprisingly nimble on the palate. Those dark fruit flavors are layered with notes dark roast coffee, Good n Plenty candy, blueberry skins, vanilla and orange peel.

As I've found in many of the petit verdots I've tasted — out of barrel or in finished wines like this one — there is a big initial burst of flavor that fades a bit more quickly than I'd like. Still, this is a wine worth tasting in their tasting room if you have the opportunity.

It will be interesting to see how this and other petit verdots will age over time. It would seem to have the structure to cellar well, but there isn't much track record for long-term aging this grape. That makes the $100 investment one I can't quite wrap my head around.

Producer: Jamesport Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13.5% 
Price: $100*
Rating: 88