Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

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Dan Kravitz
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#51 Post by Dan Kravitz » January 11th, 2020, 6:39 pm

No.
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Andrew A r n t f i e l d
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#52 Post by Andrew A r n t f i e l d » January 11th, 2020, 7:21 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 5:21 am
I've never had much luck with PS. In fact, the very opposite. What would be a good, fresher, lower alcohol producer in CA?
Retro Cellars. Mike Dunn’s winery. Awesome stuff. And affordable.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#53 Post by Andrew A r n t f i e l d » January 11th, 2020, 7:28 pm

And speaking of Dunn, try to find some of Dunn Vineyard’s Petite Sirah. Only produced from 1992-1995. I think you can still purchase at least one of the vintages directly from Dunn if you call them.

Randy produced the wine for 4 vintages but didn’t bottle it until considerably later. And now his son Mike is producing the Retro Cellars PS from (I believe) the same vines.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#54 Post by Andrew Demaree » January 11th, 2020, 7:33 pm

Andrew A r n t f i e l d wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 7:21 pm
Adam Frisch wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 5:21 am
I've never had much luck with PS. In fact, the very opposite. What would be a good, fresher, lower alcohol producer in CA?
Retro Cellars. Mike Dunn’s winery. Awesome stuff. And affordable.
Good call.

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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#55 Post by Mike Grammer » January 11th, 2020, 7:38 pm

PeterH wrote:
May 20th, 2015, 10:16 am
Approximately .0005% of my cellar contents are Petit Sirah, and that was a gift. Aside from finding no definition, layers, or interesting aromas, I usually detect an unpleasant metallic edge.

P Hickner
I have a bit more than that, Peter, but not much and it's all going to be opened for WineFest V in July. The fun thing there is that I will have PS from about 7 or 8 different regions in California and across about 17 years or so of age, so I *am* looking forward to trying them all.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#56 Post by Anton D » January 11th, 2020, 10:11 pm

Andrew A r n t f i e l d wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 7:21 pm
Adam Frisch wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 5:21 am
I've never had much luck with PS. In fact, the very opposite. What would be a good, fresher, lower alcohol producer in CA?
Retro Cellars. Mike Dunn’s winery. Awesome stuff. And affordable.
I also love and endorse Retro!
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#57 Post by Theodore Anderson » January 12th, 2020, 9:32 am

Andrew A r n t f i e l d wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 7:28 pm
And speaking of Dunn, try to find some of Dunn Vineyard’s Petite Sirah.
I opened a '92 of this last month, it was pretty good: This needs air as it's very tightly wound in the first few hours of being open. At hour 4 paired with braised lamb it's finally softened enough to decipher what's going on; iodine, ash, loam, cedar, dutched cocoa, dried mushrooms, dark berry fruit, sour, tannic, and verging on coarse without the food. It's got this severe volcanic mineral sense that would have me calling Aglianico if it were served blind. This is years away from maturity, if it can ever actually get there. Enjoyable and possibly the most refined old Petite I've ever had.

I've collected a lot of old PS from Ridge/Freemark/Stags' Leap over the years, primarily since it's an interesting piece of our viticultural history here and rarely over the hill. That said, I almost never open them any more since they tend to be beasts that endure rather than mature. My vote for the most fun PS is the Ridge Essences.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#58 Post by Al Osterheld » January 12th, 2020, 9:39 am

John Morris wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 6:28 pm
Another great one was the Concannons back in the 80s. They were crappy after a certain point -- utterly commercial, candy stuff. I think they may have had to replant.
We had a lovely 1965 Concannon Petite Sirah at the winery (Harrington) after hand bottling a small non-commercial lot.

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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#59 Post by Adam Frisch » January 12th, 2020, 12:50 pm

Good tips, thanks.

I wonder how Dunn's would be, since he seems to do pretty long macerations on his other wines, huge tannins that probably need a lot of time and a lot of air. PS being pretty tightly wound as it is, it must be an absolute tannic mountain if it receives some maceration time. Be interesting to try.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#60 Post by Kirk.Grant » January 12th, 2020, 1:23 pm

Evan Pontoriero wrote:
May 20th, 2015, 9:39 am
We used to get some from Grist on Bradford Mountain when it got ripe. We would use it as a blender. Caymus now is taking the whole block so I'm interested to see what they are going to do with it. I've liked Turley's PS from Hayne and Rattlesnake, they just take a long time.
I had a few from the list at the Mecca and one of them was an absolute rock-star. It was also 35 years old. The good news, it only cost $6 on release. My guess is that they require a lot of patience. So I'm sitting on the single bottle of PS that I have for as long as I can.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#61 Post by Andrew A r n t f i e l d » January 14th, 2020, 9:59 am

Theodore Anderson wrote:
January 12th, 2020, 9:32 am
Andrew A r n t f i e l d wrote:
January 11th, 2020, 7:28 pm
And speaking of Dunn, try to find some of Dunn Vineyard’s Petite Sirah.
I opened a '92 of this last month, it was pretty good: This needs air as it's very tightly wound in the first few hours of being open. At hour 4 paired with braised lamb it's finally softened enough to decipher what's going on; iodine, ash, loam, cedar, dutched cocoa, dried mushrooms, dark berry fruit, sour, tannic, and verging on coarse without the food. It's got this severe volcanic mineral sense that would have me calling Aglianico if it were served blind. This is years away from maturity, if it can ever actually get there. Enjoyable and possibly the most refined old Petite I've ever had.

I've collected a lot of old PS from Ridge/Freemark/Stags' Leap over the years, primarily since it's an interesting piece of our viticultural history here and rarely over the hill. That said, I almost never open them any more since they tend to be beasts that endure rather than mature. My vote for the most fun PS is the Ridge Essences.
Interesting Theodore. Based on your post I had to go back and look at my notes on the Dunn PS I've opened.

I've gone through 3 bottles of the 1992, and one bottle each of the 1993 and 1994. (I still haven't opened a 1995 but I have some.)

All were purchased on the secondary market about 2 or 3 years ago, so I have no clue as to past storage conditions. But all the bottles I've opened have been fully resolved, pliant and accessible with or without food.

Some bits and pieces from my various TNs:

Just brilliant. Silky and lithe. Fully resolved tannns, fruit still vibrant, good acidity. Opened with 10 wine friends who all were in awe of how good a 25 year old Petite Sirah could be when in the hands of someone like Randy Dunn.

Funky socks on the nose - but that blew off after 30 minutes or so. The palate was fresh and deep, with excellent acidity and resolved tannins. Drinking beautifully.

Palate is remarkably fresh, complex and long.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#62 Post by Hank Victor » January 14th, 2020, 10:57 am

For those of you with a JR subscription, Elaine Chukan Brown wrote a nice article titled "Petite Sirah lightens up" on the purple pages.

In my personal experience, one of the best bottles of wine that I have enjoyed was a 1993 Turley Hayne Vineyard PS consumed in 2018. Elegant, structured, and just so beautiful.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#63 Post by John Kight » January 14th, 2020, 11:43 am

Bud Carey wrote:
May 20th, 2015, 9:03 pm
I've got a bunch of Switchback Ridge PS in my cellar... and they usually start singing with about 8 - 10 years of age on them.
I've got a sole bottle of the '01 which I retained as an "experiment" (to see if it ever developed into anything). Thoughts on whether it's time to drink that one up, or whether it needs yet more time for me to truly assess the results of my experiment?

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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#64 Post by Bud Carey » January 14th, 2020, 11:51 am

Check out Cellartracker comments. Still going strong. Probably good for another 3 to 5 years.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#65 Post by Evan Pontoriero » January 15th, 2020, 9:01 am

We'll find out [cheers.gif] . I'm making Grist Vineyard Bradford Mountain PS for 18 and 19 vintages. Cooler mountain site with ocean breezes even though it is inland and doesn't seem to be as monolithic as warmer sites.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#66 Post by Chris Seiber » January 15th, 2020, 11:24 am

John Kight wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 11:43 am
Bud Carey wrote:
May 20th, 2015, 9:03 pm
I've got a bunch of Switchback Ridge PS in my cellar... and they usually start singing with about 8 - 10 years of age on them.
I've got a sole bottle of the '01 which I retained as an "experiment" (to see if it ever developed into anything). Thoughts on whether it's time to drink that one up, or whether it needs yet more time for me to truly assess the results of my experiment?
I had a 2003 Switchback PS sometime in the last year. I didn't take notes, but it was at a good age. I wouldn't say it had developed a lot of complexity akin to a Bordeaux or something, but the massiveness of the fruit has receded to a more medium-large size. I don't know if it's inherently better than when those are young, but it's different. I maybe would have given it a 90-91 type score.

My guess would be yours is good to drink now and the next several years. Beyond that, I guess you could gamble on whether more complexity emerges versus whether it just gets more tired. Not sure which it would be.

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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#67 Post by John Kight » January 15th, 2020, 12:12 pm

Bud Carey wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 11:51 am
Check out Cellartracker comments. Still going strong. Probably good for another 3 to 5 years.
Chris Seiber wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 11:24 am
My guess would be yours is good to drink now and the next several years. Beyond that, I guess you could gamble on whether more complexity emerges versus whether it just gets more tired. Not sure which it would be.
Given that my interest is more academic and I'm not necessarily seeking to simply get the most out of the bottle, maybe I'll give it a little longer than what would be the best guess at "optimal drinking window". So given the recommendations here of a few more years, maybe I'll try to hold it for another 10-12.

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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#68 Post by Chris Seiber » January 15th, 2020, 12:19 pm

John Kight wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 12:12 pm
Bud Carey wrote:
January 14th, 2020, 11:51 am
Check out Cellartracker comments. Still going strong. Probably good for another 3 to 5 years.
Chris Seiber wrote:
January 15th, 2020, 11:24 am
My guess would be yours is good to drink now and the next several years. Beyond that, I guess you could gamble on whether more complexity emerges versus whether it just gets more tired. Not sure which it would be.
Given that my interest is more academic and I'm not necessarily seeking to simply get the most out of the bottle, maybe I'll give it a little longer than what would be the best guess at "optimal drinking window". So given the recommendations here of a few more years, maybe I'll try to hold it for another 10-12.
I totally get it. While I'm not sure if it will be better or worse than it would be tonight, I'm pretty confident it will still be alive and decent drinking by then.

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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#69 Post by Leonard Maran » January 15th, 2020, 1:12 pm

Decidedly, and chalky as well. In my experience it can age forever, without gaining complexity.

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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#70 Post by S. Rash » January 15th, 2020, 1:13 pm

The best wines I drank in 2019 were Petite Sirah! 2000 Teldeschi PS and 1999 Ridge PS Dynamite Hill.
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Re: Do You Find Petit Sirah To Be Monolithic?

#71 Post by bretrooks » January 15th, 2020, 3:33 pm

I've had a handful of the Field Stone Staten Family Reserve bottlings over the last decade or so which are made from their pre-prohibition vines...it's been a while, though, and I only have two left. We're not drinking a lot of PS these days.

I've liked them - medium-to-full-bodied wines with a bit more spiciness and complexity that I often get with the variety. Tasty and definitely youthful up to age 10, and the few bottles I've had at greater maturity (in 2011, I had the 1991, 1984 & 1978) were all relatively ageless.
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