*Disclaimer: I received this wine as part of a sample from Dancing Coyote*
Carey was incredibly excited when I’d told her that I had found a Petite Sirah advocacy organization online. “I wanted to become a member, but it cost $500,” I said hurriedly. Actually, she was confused. Well, pestered might really be a better word. Not that I can blame her, she had been sound asleep—one of her 20-minute power naps that had stretched into 40 because I wasn’t watching the clock—just enough time to execute a little photoshoot and find the aforementioned website: P.S. I love You, A Petite Sirah Advocacy Organization.
Before she could rouse herself from bed, I got a hand in behind her neck, elevated her head and eased her nose into a glass of the ’08 Dancing Coyote Petite Sirah. “Sniff. Here, again—in case you didn’t get it. Incredible, right? Powerful but not fierce. And, look at that color, hun, supercharged orchid—it really stands out against the duvet.” She agreed. She is a very good sport. “Here, have a sip; don’t get it on your robe. Do you have any idea what this is? It’s a single varietal? Any thoughts?” She didn’t get the right answer, but she did get the best wrong answer: Syrah. I was very impressed.
The mission statement of P.S. I Love you: To promote, educate, and legitimize Petite Sirah as a noble varietal, with a special emphasis on its terroir uniqueness. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that movement? The fact is, Petite Sirah has oft been relegated to blending status, by either adding color to cheap California jug wines, strengthening Cabernet Sauvignon during wetter, weaker years, and first and foremost as a Rhône mid-level mixer. That is why a little grassroots advocacy is instrumental. The only thing actually petite about Petite Sirah is its grapes, hence the name. The small grape size equals a higher skin-to-juice ratio resulting in an inky, ageable, colossus.
My tasting notes: [The ’08 Petite Sirah was bottled less than 4 months ago. 1,240 cases.]
Grandiose, almost exaggerated color. Glowing plum and garnet colors—enamel-like polish. A rich, fleshy brute with a musky nose of blackberries and coffee beans. A noticeably gentle presence in the sinuses, not a single hard note.
Lush blackberry and blueberry fruit—berries so developed I imagine them bursting under the pressure of their own ripeness. The origins of the oak barrels are not noted on the facts sheet, but I would guess there was a certain amount of aging done in new American oak—perfect for a wine like this. There is a sweet, bitable quality to the tannins and a easy cedar-like robe on the nose and palate that I would consider less than elusive. A granite core develops on the midpalate and finishes as the wine breathes—a rock-hard, strong keel mineral component. The fruit and mineral elements are not swallowed by the wood seasoning. Very important—order has been kept in the glass. A stunning value in new world good taste.