International Wine Cellar |
($75) Saturated ruby. Roast coffee and melted chocolate on the nose; smells a bit tired. Rich, chewy and very ripe, with a high-toned, almost port-like character and a slight tart edge. Like the Hayne zinfandel, this is in an awkward stage today. I was put off by a slightly oxidative nut skin note on the aftertaste. (My sample of the Library Vineyard Petite Sirah was corked.)
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All five of Turley's 2008 Petite Syrahs (they do not spell it 'Sirahâ?�) are extraordinary, and I could probably write the same tasting notes for each. My favorites include the Hayne Vineyard and Library Vineyard, followed by the Pesenti Vineyard, which shows more chalky graphite characteristics. They all possess huge aromas of blackberries, blueberries, and ink, massive fruit concentration, enormous body, and a lot less alcohol than the Zinfandels (a character of this varietal). Readers who purchase any of these cuvees should forget them for 10 years, and drink them over the following 25-30 years. They will handsomely repay the investment in patience.
As I have said many times, the most underrated varietal (especially if you are a connoisseur or collector wanting to age California wines for 10-20 years) is Petite Sirah, which ages just as well as the finest Cabernet Sauvignons. In fact, it ages more slowly, and in 2009, well-cellared examples from the late 1960s and early 1970s continue to be remarkable wines. All of the following wines are noteworthy, and I am sure they will still be drinking beautifully in 25, 35, perhaps even 40 or more years. They need plenty of time to age, and because they have never been fashionable, their prices tend to be realistic. That said, you have to be a masochist to drink these wines young as they are massive, inky/blue/black, super-concentrated offerings that need at least 8-10 years of bottle age.