All the fruit and all the tannin? Black opaque ruby running to garnet with purple edges. Stemmy, spicy blast with copious oak. Round, steely piquant fresh and ripe and still horribly brooding. Rich and mouth-filling with layers and layers of mind-numbing, banana-peel tannins cloaking the fruit. Have to positively CHEW through the backbone of this thing–my mouth is literally doing calisthenics trying desperately to cleanse the chalky structure off this thing. And underneath sits a glowing gem of dense black cherry with a brightness evading description. Early, this wine shows that unmistakable nuance of small winery/burgeoning area… it is hard to describe, but once you’ve had it, it sticks with you. Dry Creek Valley in the late-80’s. Paso 15 years ago. Baja TODAY. And it pops up in the wines I make. Maybe a not-so-stellar barrel progamme. Maybe a cleanliness issue. Maybe a little shy on PMBS at bottling. Maybe just not a 40,000$ lab. Whatever it is, I embrace it because it smells and spells RAW and winemaking at it’s garagiste core. The frontier. Before corporations took over every brand we loved and hired Davis-grads to mouse over the barrels, clicking them into perfection. Really, it just is pure oxidation, but don’t get all shook up over it. The glycol-nose bothers me a bit on this one, and the tinge of AL at the tail-end of the bouquet… but that fruit. That acid. That bullet-proof tannin shell under which the fruit glows omnipresent far into the night… Yes, a decent PS can be absolute magic–and this one comes close. I’ve tasted 2yo PS’s like this and it scares the crap outa me, but this one at age 5 shows it is not going anywhere, soon. A handful of these in your closet would present a charming situation in 10 or 15 years–standard time for a true Petite Sirah to really strut it’s stuff. 14-6 ♦♦
24hr Vac-U-Vin edit: Flattened out into a wet-carboard/squished bug/alcoholic muss. But rich sweet oak prevailing. Really fat. Taste has thinned to dominate acidity and prune. Just telling, that’s all.