Dull, chubby nose of rotten fruit and dirty motor oil. Pruney-thick in bouquet and impenetrable black maroon to the eye. The minuscule rim shows basically no clear, but not bricking. Flaccid and cloyingly sweet, it is not maderized, but one-dimensional, with any aspiration toward complexity buried behind rubenesque curves.

Tasting it puts dry, chalky imprints of varietal-correctness against a fruit so black cherry, so concentrated, so warm and chewy, so MASSIVE, the awkward nose is all but forgotten. Lavish concentrations of blackberry and harsh briar make for a wine definitely shooting for the *bigger-is-better* crowd at the expense of intelligent palatal meanderings. It’s a bitter, harsh bruiser, probably able to maintain this viscosity for another decade or two, but at what value? It is simple while ridiculously steroidal, and at 12, probably at peak. Tannins overwhelm all, as disastrous to the balance as the whopping legs and absence of sustainable fruit. But it’s Petite Sirah. A tongue-numbing MEAL of a wine that will polish, but never solidify. Your call is as good as mine.

2009 RUBY HILL ‘Estate Reserve’ PS Livermore 15.0

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