#nationalpinotnoirday so naturally–in keeping with solid #influencer status–I donned my best flat-brim, fired up the ring-light, unbuttoned my blouse a bit and opened a Petite Sirah from the EPICENTER of Pinot Noir country: Contra Costa County. Trust me, it wasn’t accidental. I immediately regretted my decision, as this bottle needs YEARS of *settling down* into anything the typical 99% Pinot-lover would consider “yummy”. It might never: and I’m perfectly OK with that scenario. The initial pour smells like ‘green wine’–wine drawn straight from the flow on the press-pad. Bright staining bluish-ruby, the density of the variety gradually unfolds with lots of air. Still, it is perfumed and stemmy: dusty briar rife throughout the firm cherry and blueberry. Sultry citrus minerality makes a statement, the whole thing NOT an explosion of rich fruit or texture, but rather a clean, solid, rather under-stated red wine bursting with tiny increments of complexity under its ridiculously young persona.
Tasting it follows the nose almost exactly: clean and fresh-fruit driven, it rather sparkles with the rasp of mineral and briar while remaining calm and un-slutty, the acid and tannin burning almost-painless holes in the silken veil of shy fruit. At the palate’s core is a chalky blackness one would expect from the variety, but the entire package is one deceptively light and modest. Cat’s-tongue dry and ridiculously juicy, a brilliant wine effortlessly explaining what this storied–but disappearing–AVA can do with these classic varieties firmly rooted in the bottomless sand of this bottom-land.
2018 MOUNTAIN TIDES WINE CO. Petite Sirah Contra Costa Co. California 12-point-MF-5