June 2, 2017

P.S./Petite Sirah I Lub You!

1. 2014 Orin Swift Machete Napa Valley (blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah & Grenache grapes)
The 2014 Proprietary Red Blend Machete finished at 15.7% natural alcohol and is a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache aged 10 months in 40% new French oak. This wine, at 15,500 cases, is telltale opaque bluish/purple with a super nose of barbecue meat and herbs, blackberries, blueberries, white flowers and sweet, dark raspberries in the background. The wine has fabulous texture, great intensity, full-bodied power (15.7%), and a long, long finish. It is a killer effort and like the Abstract, probably best drunk in its first 5-6 years of life because of its charm. Orin Swift is the brainchild of a brilliant young man by the name of Dave Phinney. His Midas touch with grapes from seemingly anywhere in the world, is unusual, but the brilliance of the wines, his creativeness and unparalleled blending talents have built an incredible portfolio right out of the gate. He only started Orin Swift in 1998 and just recently sold it to the huge Gallo enterprise. Readers looking for personality filled wines of considerable character and complexity need to check out the Orin Swift offerings. They are not shy wines in any respect, but the quality is obvious, and if you are like me and believe that a wine is to be judged on just how delicious it is, you will be as impressed as I have been with the Orin Swift products. Rated 96 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Generous and expressive, big and brawny, offering a mouthful of tannins but also brimming with flavors and aromas, including Earl Grey tea, dark chocolate, dried violet and toasted gingerbread. Rich notes of plum and black cherry are balanced by forest floor and earthy accents, lingering on the long finish. Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Drink now through 2030. Rated 94 Wine Spectator

2. 2007 Girard Petite Sirah Napa Valley
"This is a big, potent, Incredible Hunk of a wine. It’s gigantic in wild, exotic blackberry, blueberry, mulberry, pomegranate, licorice, pepper and dark chocolate flavors, wrapped into firm tannins. Continues a near-perfect streak of ageworthy, dry Petite Sirahs from Girard." Rated 93 Wine Enthusiast

"A significant portion of this wine comes from the Godward Vineyard north of Calistoga, where the oldest petite sirah vines are nearing 100 years of age, including a block of mixed blacks. Right now, it's all primary fruit-blunt blueberry and wild, spicy purple fruit flavors. What predicts its potential, however, is the freshness and balance of that fruit, held by a firm structure even if the detail is not yet articulated in the wine. Give this ten years in the cellar and it should grow into a beauty " Rated 90 Wine & Spirits

3. 2002 Carver Sutro Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard Napa Valley
This small Petite Sirah specialist knows how to push the envelope on this underrated, long-lived varietal. Made from 35-75-year old vines, the dense purple-hued 2002 Petite Sirah Palisade Vineyard saw about 32% new French oak. Typical of this varietal, it is a muscular, rich, incredibly deep but well-balanced effort with sweet tannin, loads of violet-tinged blueberry and boysenberry fruit, and hints of pepper as well as minerals. Full-bodied, fruit-driven, and enormous, it is still backward, and probably will not hit its prime for another 7-8 years; it should last for two decades. Rated 92 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

4. 2014 Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard Santa Barbara County
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "One of the many highlights in this range, the 2014 Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard is another superb wine from Jaffurs. Here it is the wine's inner sweetness and perfume that stand out most. The firm Petite tannins are present, but they are nearly buried by the sheer voluptuousness of the fruit. Sweet red and blueberry jam, wild roses and a bit of sweetness from the 20% new oak barrels comes through nicely." Rated 95 Vinuous

"A big, rich, concentrated, yet elegant and balanced expression of the variety, the inky colored 2014 Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard has tons of ripe blackberry, plum, mint and sappy herbs in its full-bodied, focused and pure profile. It should keep for a decade or more. " Rated 92 The Wine Advocate

5. 2013 Michael David "Earthquake" Petite Sirah Lodi
"One of the specialties of the Michael David Winery is their Petite Sirah, and the 2013 Petite Sirah Earthquake offers up an inky purple color to the rim, copious quantities of blue and blackberry fruit, and notes of incense, camphor and earth. It is deep, ripe, full-bodied, fleshy and long. Drink now-2028." The Wine Advocate

A deep, dark color combines with extravagantly spicy oak aromas, rich fruit flavors and layers of fine tannins for a show-stopping performance. This is full-bodied and firm in texture, abundantly laced with blackberry and boysenberry flavors and pretty much irresistible. Drink now or cellar through 2018. Rated 92 Wine Enthusiast

6. 2013 Jeff Cohn Cellars Petite Sirah Sweetwater Springs Vineyard Sonoma
Lastly, the 100% Petite Sirah 2013 Landy Sweetwater Springs Vineyard is another 200-case cuvée from a steep hillside vineyard planted in loamy clay and alluvial soils. This wine spent 16 months in 100% new French oak prior to being bottled. It is a powerhouse at 15.5% natural alcohol. Absolutely sensational Petite Sirah, right up there with some of the greatest from California, this killer effort has an inky purple color and a beautiful nose of blueberries, black raspberries, blackberries and floral notes, but it is remarkably concentrated, full-bodied and multi-dimensional. The wine has incredibly sweet tannins and seems to have absorbed the 100% new French oak without a hiccup. This beauty is a full-bodied, bigger-than-life Petite Sirah that should drink well for 20+ years. One of my favorite wine producers in California is Jeff Cohn, who seems to have the Midas touch when it comes to accessing special vineyard sites and exploiting them to produce full- flavored, pedal-to-the-metal wines. Rated 94 The Wine Advocate

7. 2008 Kabminye Durif Carignan Shiraz Barossa Valley Australia
Dark red/purple. Jubey, tarry and ripe, slightly smoky, medium to full weight with plummy/blackcurrant fruit and tight, grippy tannins on the finish. Needs time to really come together, but looks promising. winestar.com.au

8. 2014 Ridge Petite Sirah Lytton Estate Dry Creek Valley
“The 2014 Petite Sirah Lytton Estate is outstanding. Deep, luscious and intense, but with none of the aggressiveness Petite so often presents, the 2014 is utterly captivating from the very first taste. Dark red and blue-hued stone fruits, mint, spices and licorice are front and center. The purity of the fruit here is simply remarkable. As hard as it may be to believe, the 2014 can be enjoyed on the young side. This is a tremendous wine. Don’t miss it!” Rated 95 Antonio Galloni, Vinuous Media