Impenetrable black out to a thin bright blue-pink. Considerable sediment and horrendously staining. Robust fruit, perfumed and thick, concentrated around a sharp core of woody broken stem and petrichor. As dense as your sister, sweet as your mom, dirty as your last girlfriend and just enough of your dad’s worn hands and suntanned creases to ground it. Lots of warm California sunshine in this one, but with a mountain edge, fastidiously reflecting all the rocky nuances you crave in a wine of this depth and construction. And it’s Petite Sirah, I mean–you can’t forget that.
So funny all the ways this variety can present itself. I had a beautiful, black one yesterday that presented itself much the same way–bug chubby perfume up front, lots of power visible–and these are the way I like this variety, a favorite of mine for many decades, one I seek out and will NOT skip if it is on a list.
In the mouth, chokingly thick, a pudding-rich cherry affronts, but carries with it piles of sharp spice and the dry bitter perfection of acid without a speck of heat. Lots of pepper and gobs of tannin, but no heat. If this is super-high ALC, it is masking it well–it feels like about 14-oh, but I have a funny feeling the label will prove me very wrong. The way the fruit thins and dry mid-palate is my favorite. Sure it starts off shooting, but then it goes all calm and beautiful, seductive and subdued, not bashing you over the head with its Paso-ness or its Petite Sirah pedigree–it waits to do that in the finish.
This is a big boi, starting to reflect a little tertiary and it accompanies the intense fruit and jam well. Complicated and layered, even far into the tannic-dance of the finish.
2014 PER CASO Petite Sirah Willow Creek Paso Robles 15.0