This month's theme is Petite Sirah.
The round-up is here. Thanks to Megan at Wannabee Winofor hosting this
month's WBW. We chose two wines this month, as we wanted to compare them.
Both wines were purchased directly from the winery via their respective mailing lists.
Switchback Ridge makes three wines: a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot and a Petite Sirah. Bob Foley is the winemaker. (He also works for Pride Mountain and has his own winery, Robert Foley Estates.)
This wine is made from 100% petite sirah. It was aged for 18 months in neutral oak. A total of 298 cases were produced.
Joanne's Tasting Notes: The wine is deep purple, with some hints of red, and very opaque - even to the edges. Nose of creamy vanilla cherry with fresh sawdust underlying. Midnotes of drunken red cherries with some new leather and black currant. There is a hint towards both bitterness and sweetness, but the wine is dry and hard. Menthol and crushed herbs (oregano or marjoram?) faintly linger on the finish.
Jack adds: The alcoholic nose doesn't charm me. This is a monster of a wine. This wine is almost delicious, but the alcohol has piggy-backed atop, which stops full enjoyment. The finish is a bit short and has a touch of heat. This is still a very good wine, and is likely to be loved by those who enjoy Turley Petite Syrahs. For me, this is a one-glass wine, as a dessert, rather than with food, kind-of-wine.
Unlike this wine, I've really enjoyed the several bottles Switchback Ridge's Merlots that I've drunk.
2002 Carver Sutro Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard Napa Valley $43
Carver Sutro make just one wine, this Petite Sirah. Gary Brookman is the winemaker. (He also works for Miner Family and Grace Family.)
This wine is made from 100% petite sirah that come from the Palisades vineyard and is farmed by Frank Barberis. 455 cases were made.
The Carver Sutro website also has a great page on the history/origins of the petite sirah grape.
Joanne's Tasting Notes: Deep red purple and opaque - you can just see through the edges in the glass. Nose of fresh tobacco and crushed dark cherries with cherry brandy underlying and a hint of coriander. Good acids but heavy on the alcohol. The mid-notes suggest bitterness but it isn't delivered instead cherry and tobacco run through to the long finish. The weight is on the watery side, not the concentration anticipated from the nose.
Jack adds:There was a tremendous amount of sediment in the neck for a 2002. (The Switchback Ridge, in contrast, had no trace of sediment in its neck/cork.)
After a few days, there's still not much on the nose. This wine is quite balanced. It's a nice wine, with some vibrancy, and yet is not winning me over.