The Lamborghini of Petite Sirah

Dark dark completely impenetrable purple with narrow red-sapphire edges.  Intensely acidic and even young-tasting at first pour, but finds it’s groove very quickly and reminds you what a monster this really is. Minty oak explodes out of the glass settles down into nutmeg and cinnamon puree with a sweet rich oak polish.  Heads into an almost Ben-gay sort of mintiness but oh so lovely balanced with the oak.  Not as acidic as I would hope in the entry–just layers and layers of chewy ripe fruit teetering on the cusp of numbing tannin.   Round and mouth-filling, and the ample tannin sucks at your membranes dearly and drys things out long into the finish.

If you are a car person, you realize I am not trotting out Lamborghini as the ultimate in perfect automobiles.  They are different from that… it is a stylistic thing, a wholesome-beauty thing, and all-encapsulating design-process-thing which leave you breathless while at the same time won’t start and catches fire and is un-insurable.  It is so lovely tasting a stalwart Napa produce something we do not usually associate with Napa.  Like a Napa Zin… or a Paso Pinot… or a Mendocino Merlot.  We have these *models* in our heads about Petite Sirah and where they are SUPPOSED to be produced and then a shocking wine like this comes along and sets you back a few notches and reminds you you can not stereo-type regions.

At the expense of being a little anti-typical in it’s ‘syrah-ness’ or it’s ‘cab-ness’, I find no flaws in this wine other than being a tad fat and glycerin-ey around the edges.  But if you are a fan of the magic that can be Petite Sirah, this is something you MUST buy before you cast your opinion of the varietal in concrete.  Yes, offerings from Amador, Calaveras, Lodi, Paso or Sonoma fit the *classical* expectations of PS maybe just a little better… We EXPECT them from somewhat of a more rough-and-tumble appellation, but this one woos with polish and plushness while not short-changing the true varietal essences.

2007 STAG’S LEAP WINERY Petite Sirah Napa Valley 14.3

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