Wine 5

TN: 1991 Storrs Petite Sirah, Santa Cruz Mtns. AVA

zin1953 | Jan 21, 200806:37 AM

I love Petite Sirah, but no one ever said Petite Sirah HAS to be all tannic spice and no fruit . . .

One of the things that many people seem to have forgotten about Petite Sirah is that it has a very short history as a varietal wine -- first produced in 1965 by Concannon Vineyards out in Livermore. Joe's wines were spicy, bold, a little tannic, but had balance and structure that permitted the wines to develop with age. Ridge, Freemark Abbey and a handful of others made some great Petite Sirah wines in the years 1968-1974; these were bigger, bolder, more spicy AND more tannic, but they still had fruit and the structure for developing more complexity with bottle age.

What often seems to have been forgotten, it seems to me with the resurgence of Petite Sirah in the mid-1990s through today, is that "age-ability" is an essential part of Petite, as it is with almost any wine. To me, too many "modern" Petites have youthful fruit, but they seem to fall apart with age -- best to enjoy them young, when the fruit AND the bold, sometimes aggressive tannins are intact.

Storrs is a small Santa Cruz winery that produced, in the 1990s, a string of -- to my taste --outstanding Petite Sirahs.

1991 Storrs Petite Sirah, Santa Cruz Mountains AVA: At 16+ years of age, this wine displays a deep garnet in color in the glass, clear and clean, though with a significant crust on the inside of the bottle and a fair amount of sediment left behind after careful decanting; the bouquet is an enticing blend of black currants, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, combined with saddle leather, black pepper spice, light earth, a hint of vanilla, cinnamon, and light oak; in the mouth, the wine is supple, round, and possesses a velvety texture, with its generous fruit on the palate, soft tannins, good structure, and layers of complexity; the finish is long, lingering and very delicious. Truly excellent -- I cannot recall having a better bottle of Petite in, say, the last ten years. Absolutely stunning!


P.S. The label shows an alcohol content of 12.6%.

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