I ended my review of Mark Edward Wines 2015 Ceja Vineyard Zinfandel saying, “I can’t wait to taste what else Mark Edward Wines produces.” Well I didn’t have to wait long. 2015 celebrates the first vintage owner and winemaker Mark Flowers began his partnership with Jesus Ceja of Ceja Farms Vineyard, who allowed the young winemaker to purchase his iconic organic fruit and create his second vintage of Petite Sirah.

About the Wine: The Pazienza 2015 Petite Sirah is made from 96% Petite Sirah and 4% Zinfandel harvested from the Ceja Farms Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. The wine was aged for 14 months in neutral French oak barrels. After fermentation was completed, 30% medium toast French oak chips were added for 60 days prior to bottling.

14.1% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open the bottle of the Pazienza 2015 Petite Syrah and breathe in night time air, smokey meat, dark plums, and anise. This Petite Sirah is a rich red-violet velvet on the pour, settling into the glass as a completely impenetrable purple-dominant red, with a perimeter that softens ever so slightly to a rouge-like red.

Initial aromas are of jammy black cherries, black plums, and a dusty woodiness wafts in the background. Swirl and awaken livelier fruits like fresh blackberries and some definite woodiness. The palate is a solid medium body with tannins that go from zero to full-on on the finish. And though they absolutely do coat the tongue at the very end, they do not dry out the palate. The acidity is strong and consistent from start to finish, without ever domineering, merely steering the spectrum of sensations. Dominant flavors are of dried wood, brambly blackberries, a bit of tobacco, a cayenne-like spice, and some mocha-y flavors as well. The finish is absolutely lingering with backing spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom.

Food Pairing: I paired the Pazienza 2015 Petite Syrah with a Mediterranean-spiced salmon, golden beetroot salad seasoned with goats cheese and balsamic, and a side of Israeli couscous. I loved this pairing. The sweetness of the beetroot and balsamic made the fruit flavors in the wine feel fuller and jammier. The couscous brought out the woodsy, dusty earthiness of those dried spice notes in the Petite Sirah. The spice rub on the salmon worked to further calm the tannins, but also gave way toward a nice spice-kick on the palate toward the finish. But take a bite of everything together and take a generous sip of the Pazienza 2015 Petite Syrah, and you’ve got the full palate-package — a seamless food and wine story.

More Info: I received the Pazienza 2015 Petite Syrah as a sample for review. (Cheers Mark!) Retail: $30. For more information about Mark Edward Wines and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Mark Edward Wines website.

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