Tuesday, May 19, 2009

48 hours with Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah 2002

2002 Vincent Arroyo Petite Sirah - USA, California, Napa Valley (5/17/2009)I've tasted this bottle several times, most recently at the Winemaker Dinner on May 1. The bottles from my cellar seemed much more acidic and out of balance than the bottle from the winery. When I open a bottle of VA at home it rarely lasts a full hour, and I typically just pop & pour. The bottle at the winery had been opened several hours earlier and was more balanced than what I remember. I decided to do an experiment with this wine to see if I might be prematurely judging this wine. I opened the bottle at 6:00 PM Friday and gave it a whirl.

  • 6:00 PM- It was just as I remembered it previously- tight and acidic with muted fruit.
  • 8:00 PM- The acids had diminished a bit and the fruit was starting to show. This drank similar to the bottle from the winery. Still not wonderful, but promising. I’ll stick the cork in the bottle and leave it on the counter overnight.


  • 10:30 AM- I need to keep the experiment going. The nose was much more balanced; the acidic edge is gone. Much more rounded on the palate, the fruit is coming out and the acids have further integrated. The wine is improving, but still has a bit of a medicinal finish.
  • 7:00 PM- The wine has definitely softened, but the acids are still prevalent on the back end- still somewhat medicinal. The fruit is still there, but it might be fading a bit. I’ll pump it overnight.


  • 6:00 PM- The bottle has been opened for 48 hours; time to see if it’s falling apart. The color hasn’t changed; the nose offers feint traces of black cherry. There’s still plenty of fruit on the palate, but the tannins have diminished and the mid palate is a little hollow. There’s still plenty of acid, which still gives the wine a nice long finish. The medicinal notes on the acids have all but disappeared. I can detect a little oxidation on the wine; the experiment needs to end today.

My analysis is that this wine will improve with additional bottle ageing; I would guess 2- 3 years. It should drink well through 2015; the fruit is holding up. (90 pts.)

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