Big Ranch Petite Sirah

Black black purple ruby with tiny edges and considerable sediment.  Round, full, and smelling a bit more aged than I would expect from something this young.  It really comes off as a 10YO wine.  Not in color, just smell.  A lovely polished wet-earth elegance, muddled with rich salted licorice and hard cheese to back up the not-bright-but-ripe fruit.

So it’s drinking beautifully and mature a half-decade before it should be drinking beautifully and mature, big deal.  I’m not going to fault it too hard for that.  I grew up with Petite Sirahs from Napa and Sonoma which were so tense they took decades to show any layers.  Lately I have been inundated with local Paso stuff which is so yummily-fruited and forward, I miss the complexity and dense-ness of the old boys.  This one hits right in the middle.  One could *almost* call it “cab-like” but there’s a big fat streak of jam running the full length of it none of the spice, age and oak can deter.

In the mouth, Oh God I just can’t bring myself to drink it!  Every time I bring it up to taste my nose gets stuck in it and I find something new and wonderful.  This wine Smells. So. Good.  But see:  I like older wines.  It’s important to KNOW YOUR REVIEWER.  If you have developed a palate for big rich ripe GSM powerhouses or lush Cab oak-bombs, you are not going to like the way this wine smells.  And is either preference correct?  Yes, of course, I’m right and you’re wrong.  Com’on, what did you expect me to say?!?!  OK, here goes.  In the mouth, a tangy spice-laden concoction heavy on dusty lily and thick latex.  Piles and piles of fruit forever and ever.  Deep ripping bitter tannin is like soothing medicine.  An amazing PS.

2011 KENEFICK RANCH Petite Sirah Calistoga Napa Valley  14.8


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