Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vincent Arroyo Winery Petite Sirah 1999

One of the few remnants from my Napa and Sonoma trip a couple years ago, I picked up this petite sirah at a little winery in Northern Napa right before a special celebration. They had opened their wine library for sale the next day so I got picking of some old small production Napa wines. How could I resist? They consider their Petite Sirah to be their flagship wine.

I don't know too many people who have had the chance to taste a nearly 10 year old Petite Sirah, so I was very excited upon opening this bottle. The nose was nutty and very jammy with plums and blue fruits abound - very opulent. Understandable for Petite Sirah. However, the palate is where things got interesting: sure it had big black fruits, chocolate, cassis and oak - but it also had a distinct woodsyness and a refinement and elegant I have not yet tasted in Petite Sirah. Furthermore, the finish was incredibly long - far longer then any other PS I have tasted - with great acidity. My biggest complaint was that over time it became unbalanced and maybe was a little unstructured to begin with. A big wallop of fruit up front collapses into the woodsy mid-palate. However, despite a little awkwardness I still thoguht this was pretty elegant - strange maybe, but true. An interesting experiment in aging Petite Sirah, clearly aging this variety is possible and it works. This paired great with the Morrocan lamb stew I had for dinner. I recommend checking Arroyo out in Napa if you are down there - they make some tasty stuff that is different from the norm (great blends too).

Very Good+
$50 USD at the Winery

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