Such a vibrant nose. So REAL. So distinctively unglamorous, un-keyword-ish. Muddy work boots and the energizing fatigue of a hard day. Dungarees with a little grease on them, dark, deep-ripe berry preserves clamoring to life under knee-high grass and black soil, alcohol, wet-asphalt petrichor tinged in caramel, licorice, uneven toast and rawhide. A very closed-in newsprint sorta initial bottle-funk begged for decanting, and I obliged. And now, the green, crisp briary beauty begins its little dance with the black-cherry devil.
You don’t have to follow me long to realize the unsung red varieties are something I have clung steadfastly to for many decades. Petite Sirah. Carignane. Petit Verdot. Tannat. But nothing gets me ordering off your list faster than seeing a PS on there, and while this producer may have *Classic Italian Varieties* in their by-line, they have produced here a wine pushing so many of the right buttons.
Swilly dark ruby with a vibrant pink-purple edge, it flows rich and supple over all surfaces, the briary prick stinging gently available sensors. So ridiculously black and purple and thick on the tongue, ephemeric sweetness postures subtly on the berry and cherry, whimpering briefly of lavish yumminess before the Dogs of Petite Sirah are unleashed on your palate. The tannin calves off in huge sheets, splashing woodsy dankness in all directions with an accompanying acidic mist. Gob-stopping fruit, the absolute DELICIOUSNESS of this wine begs a near-chugging scenario but an OD would be subsequent–although I can think of worse ways to go.
These people have managed to bottle quite possibly the world’s most perfect PS. All the old-world love. All the old-vine California Italian heritage. All the abrasive structure. All the magnificent fruit–but not doing a *jammy* injustice. And I was a little over ONE FULL POINT off my ABV-guess. And at 8, just starting to come onto its own–with two decades to go.
2013 WEST OF TEMPERANCE Petite Sirah Giannecchini Ranch Mendocino 15.2