Impenetrable black, only becoming transparent in the last 1/8 inch of edge. Massive fruity nose, all dark compressed cherry, thick as night, dirty and viscous, rich with sin and skulduggery, glorious briar and alcohol brightening the nose into dessert-like consistency.

A local restaurant I frequent pours this as one of only 2 or 3 other BTG offerings. No clue who it is, figured good friend of the proprietors or family in my here-to-fore only lunchtime BTG ordering (of both the Vino Rosso and the Petite Sirah) which almost always felt a tad oxidized and wanting. This is the first time for dinner and ordering a whole bottle to myself and two things immediately spring forth: First, it is bright and lively under the cork and fresh from the–brand new–bottle and secondly–with the bottle in my hand for the first time–I am able to turn it around and read: “Croad”. Well then. That explains everything.

Tasting it brings to life all the ideas expressed in the bouquet. Deep chewy fruit, ridiculously concentrated, stupendously sharp, biting and bristly as the black elixir trickles off your tongue and down your throat. Black walnut and licorice and a 5-year-old pang of leather introduce the finish, which has the chokingly dense tannin which is nearly de rigueur for this variety.

I don’t think this wine is very high alcohol, and represents a TEXTBOOK classic version of PS. With Zinfandel falling off in popularity in spades, could Petite Sirah be America’s next homer grape variety? I’m looking for new directions with this grape–and others–in 2020–and a renewed interest in pushing the envelope both directions. THIS, however, is a beautiful, CLASSIC version.

2014 WILSON FAMILY VINEYARD Petite Sirah Paso Robles 14.2


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