Volcanic Petite Sirah

Dark garnet and staining with wide tawny rims.  Intensely floral, round and ripe bouquet but at the same time, an overwhelming minerality dries the nose out to show you what sort of acid to expect.  Bright 7-Up and incredible depth of wet loam with a dollop of oak.  A bit of air definitely heads things a tiny bit in the pruney-direction, but nothing which detracts from the whole package.  Fruit on the tongue is considerably thinner than the nose suggested, with blistering acids kicking in immediately and powerfully and transitioning seamlessly to sensory-wrenching tannins.  Nice bright cherry and tar are clearly present in wonderful quantities in the entry, and the ripeness does a good job keeping up with the structure–fading away slowly–but always present–as the CRUSHING tannins run your mouth through the dry-cleaner.  The funny thing is, it doesn’t really come of as that HUGE of a wine.  Welcome to 1990.  Some of you remember wines like this from Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and Contra Costa County.  Zins and Petite Sirahs.  They don’t have to be huge, over-extracted jam-bombs to be mouth-filling!  What a novel concept.  All of the graciousness of PS fruit, all of its plummy forwardness, with a backbone that will take the paint off your car–and all in a nice, clear, balanced, 13-2 package with a wonderful nose.  Highly recommended.

2009 MOUNT TEHAMA WINERY Manton Valley Sierra Foothills Tehama Co 13.2

www.mtwinery.com

I have noted here several of Alain’s wines, his Syrah and this same PS some time ago.  Everyone REALLY needs to check out the new Manton Valley AVA.  They are producing wines up there which I feel have eclipsed Amador and Calaveras in balance and varietal depth.  Or just type ‘Tehama’ in the search-bar of this blog.
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