Chateau O’Brien 2008 Petit Verdot Delivers

By Posted on Jun 19 2011 | By

Impressive Rendition of Virginia’s Up and Coming Grape

The Wine
This past February, I posted an article on the potential for Petit Verdot becoming the Old Dominion’s star grape.  I interviewed several of the state’s respected vintners who all agreed the berry was attracting the attention of a rising number of wine lovers.

Recently, I had the pleasure to again taste why this exotic wine is turning heads in the Commonwealth.  Chateau O’Brien’s winemaker, Jason Murray, has created a gorgeously inky 100% Petit Verdot with aromas of layered black fruit and lush spice notes.  On the palate black cherry with a veil of cinnamon and spice predominate, leading to an extended soft finish of silky tannins.

The wine was aged for 24 months in French Oak and has been moving out of the tasting room at a rapid clip.  Proprietor Howard O’Brien advises limited quantities of the ’08 are still available.  Otherwise, it will be a year before the 2009 effort will be released.  I’d suggest you stop by the tasting room soon if you want to score a bottle.

The Food
A big, bold wine needs the comfort of a juicy steak, right?  Yes, but.  I love going against convention and found that Baked Dijon Wild Atlantic Salmon fillets were equal to bringing out the best in this smooth red.  Why?  First, the salmon was full bodied and favorable.  But its depth was intensified with a glaze that included butter, Dijon mustard, honey, bread crumbs and chopped pecans.  It was a classic example of a dish’s intensity being magnified by its ingredients.  It was accompanied with spring asparagus.


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, and honey. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
  3. Brush each salmon fillet lightly with honey mustard mixture, and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with the bread crumb mixture.
  4. Bake salmon 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a wedge of lemon.
Categories : WINE ARTICLES