Thursday, March 19, 2009

More On PS Not PaSsing Its Prime

Via CellarTracker, here's another old Petite Sirah tasting. Most of the wines came through with flying colors. For scores, notes, and pictures, click on over, but here are the wines that they tasted and a bit about them:
  • 1975 Burgess, Napa Valley (13%) (91-95/100, Connoisseurs' Guide). We've tried this a couple times over the past 5 years or so, and the wine has developed a wonderfully fragrant nose of black cherries, vanilla and cream. Rich, lush, and layered in the mouth, it has shown no signs of reaching the end of its peak, even after 25 years
  • 1975 Caymus, Napa Valley (13.0%): The only Petite Caymus every made. Ink grade and seemingly ageless.
  • 1977 Ridge "York Creek", Napa Valley (5% Zinfandel, 13.6%): One of the all-time classic vintages from Ridge. In the same spirit as Ridge using a bit of Petite Sirah in many of their Zins to add complexity, so have they added a bit of Zin to this Petite to good effect. Ridge captures the minerally, spicy side of the York Creek Vineyard while Freemark Abbey features more the powerful fruit.
  • 1977 Burgess, Napa Valley (13.5%) (87-90/100, Connoisseurs' Guide) As this wine passes its 30th birthday, it has become a lovely, elegant wine, more reminiscent of an old Cote Rotie than a brawy Petite Sirah.
  • 1977 Mount Veeder "Niebaum-Coppola Vineyards", Napa Valley (13.5%): Mount Veeder's only Petite Sirah. Almost black purple. Black cherries and eucalyptus.
  • 1978 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley (13.2%): Warren Winiarski is best known for his great Cabernets from the Stag's Leap region, including the 1973 which won the famed Stephen Spurrier Bordeaux-California Cabernet tasting in 1976. However, from 1978 through 1980, he experimented with Petite Sirah and produced a style different from most Petites from his contemporaries.
  • 1978 Stag's Leap Vineyards (13%): While Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is known for its Cabernets, Stag's Leap Vineyards [later Stags' Leap Winery] has always led with Petite Syrah. Their Petites from the 1970s are the benchmarks by which other Petites were measured, and this 1978 was one of his very best.
  • 1980 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, North Coast (13.2%): This was Warren Winiarski's last Petite.
I planned to open an old bottle myself last night, a 1977 Parducci PS (North Coast), but it was completely vinegarized. In fact, it looked like somebody had opened the bottle previously, and re-glued the (wax-ish, not tin) capsule head back to the top of the cork after recorking. My first completely spoiled (and possibly deceitfully-listed) bottle from WineBid. C'est la vie.

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