Not Blimpy

Big, black, thick stuff, with gobs of sediment. Clean heady nose all chalky-rich with well-composed dankness and savory briar. Cherry and blackberry lie tightly under the cloak of concentration, with peppery-sharp leather perfume crowning the bouquet, without a trace of prune or fatigue.

You never really know what you’re going to get with Petite Sirah. It can run from ridiculously tannic blockbusters taking decades to shine, to lush fruity ripeness straight outa the gate. In the olden days it was almost always the former, but more and more accessible versions are available now. As loyal readers have already anticipated, I much prefer the old-fashioned style, even though patience is key. This is my last bottle of this, and I’m fairly sad: as it’s got 20 years to go.

The perfume is so intense, it’s hard to think about anything else or even set it aside momentarily for tasting. Thick and chewy in the mouth, the fruit a muddy elixir: pore-clogging and coating every surface, nearly impossible to strain through your teeth. The grip of acid is seamless with the tannin, the whole package just stupidly structured. But the berry and briar shine through, sealing the deal on this monster. Nowhere is heat or imbalance apparent–or clumsy fruit-forwardness–a combination rare in Paso wines but a joy to find.

Probably one of the last fairly hi-production or semi-commercially bottlings available from this producer, I hope you have some. It does PS proud.

2009 RED ZEPPELIN WINERY ‘Black Zeppelin’ PS/SY Central Coast California 14.5

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