A little off-putting burnt rubber BBQ nuance hits your nose first-off, perhaps mingled with a bit of diesel. Quick to take back seat to the smoky fruit, it ends up contributing a peaty green value to the whole.
Shockingly light and wiry in the mouth, I actually had to go check the label to see if it was indeed Petite Sirah or if I had read wrong. Yup, it’s PS alright. But what a light, acidic version. No stand-a-fork-up-in-it black concentration here, no perceived sweetness, no clammy fruit, just light, bright juice. This variety typically comes in two forms: Dense, tannic, tightly-wrapped versions taking decades to open up; and equally dense, but plummy and fruit-heavy–almost sweet versions–soft but thickly jammed. This bottle adds a third version. A ridiculously charming version.
It is not soft. There is structure lurking at every corner but so light and delicate on the tongue. INCREDIBLE acid, beautiful acerola-cherry lightness and citrus covering some leather and cigar down deep. Reminds me of Sicily, where the wines bridge perfectly that area between heavy winter reds and light summer chillers.
A very interesting version of one of my favorite varieties from one of California’s newest AVA’s: Manton Valley: which to the casual eye may look like another Sierra Foothill region of the state but actually is the southern-most region of the Cascades from Oregon. All horrific, bright red, incredibly rocky volcanic, this grown slightly above the Digger Pine belt at nearly 3000 feet, these wines are truly from the frontier. Syrah and Petite Sirah are all they make, and when you see the prices, the case-buy becomes a no-brainer.
2012 MOUNT TEHAMA WINERY Petite Sirah Manton Valley AVA California 13.2