In preparation for Dark & Delicious, I'm trying to focus on articles that will help us prepare to wrap our minds and palates around the scope of PS, to develop an appreciation of its differences and similiarities (roundness in the mouth, and hopefully some face-smashing tannins!).
And another on the scope of PS with some stats. In the most recent Quarterly Review of Wines (link at PSILY currently broken), Richard Paul Hinkle provides some nice stats on PS before providing some tasting notes (which I will only summarize, for copyright reasons).
First, the stats. PSILY must be doing a great job, as Hinkle observes, because PS, once a 14,000-acre workhorse, had dwindled to a disgracefully low 1400 acres in 1990. A little more than a decade later, and it had nearly tripled to just over 4000 acres. Fast forward another 4 years, and California was back past 6000 acres, and we'll be over 7000 by the end of 2009. A decent recovery, to be sure, but we have a ways to go!
Similarly, Hinkle notes that in 2003, only 65 American wineries produced PS. Today, we're up to (are you ready for this?) 448. That's just AWESOME. (Good job, Jo!)
In terms of the wines, Hinkle likes 2 that I'm a big fan of -- the Concannon Limited Release '05 (black currant, bacon, duck fat, oak, fruit-forward), and Parducci True Grit '05 (I enjoyed the '04, but this one is black pepper, pomegranate, tannin, dark chocolate, brusque). He also likes the standard RRV Foppiano 2005 ("all black fruit all the time" -- black currant, blackberry, pomegranate, blueberry, supple and alluring, agile and sophisticated), EOS's standard Paso Robles '05 (blustery, leather, plum, raspberry, soft black pepper), and the Twisted Oak Calaveras County '05 ("fluid, cigar box, fruit from cranberry to blackberry and cola").
And on that note... I'll see you guys tomorrow. I'm not hard to spot -- I'll have a gigantic blue-toothed smile to complement my red hair. Come say hi!