I don’t know if you’ve seen my deep dark dungeon where I store my wine. Ok, it’s a coat closet. This COVID thing’s got me like “When can we finish construction on the awesomely designed—and legit—wine cellar?!?!?. Ah well, like Indiana Jones, I lit a torch and ducked beneath the dusty remains of corpses who traversed these parts before me. Wine to the left, wine to right, wine all around me. How…how am I to know which is the right bottle for tonight? I can barely see. Quickly…quickly I must make my choice before the walls collapse around me and a bolder of a wine cask comes rolling towards me. Grab something! Grab anything! Now Run!!!!
A 100% Petite Sirah that’s friendly and approachable? Sign me up. When Theodora Lee sent me two vintages of Petite Sirah and a rosé of Petite Sirah, I knew I was in the hands of a PS expert. Until recently I’d been intimidated by the varietal whose very name seems to tease at its reality: There’s nothing petite about the flavors textures, or even aromas of a Petite Sirah. Or so I thought until I’d tried an expression from Theopolis’s neighboring vintner Halcón Vineyards. There’s something special about the tucked away AVA of Yorkville Highlands — and this refined, mature, yet full-of-life expression of Petite Sirah from Theopolis Vineyards just solidifies that fact.
If a vineyard could “hide,” I believe it would do so in the tallest mountain tops in an over-looked AVA. Halcón Vineyards is located in the Mendocino appellation of Yorkville Highlands, overlooking the Anderson Valley at its 2,500-foot peak. It is, in fact, one of the highest vineyards in California. And while Mendocino, and certainly Anderson Valley, have a strong reputation for Pinot Noir production, due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the constantly cool temperatures, this high-altitude vineyard’s terroir is most reminiscent of France’s Northern Rhône region. And so it is that among the classic Rhône grapes Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Grenache, that Halcón Vineyards grows exquisite Petite Sirah, producing one of the most refined wines of this varietal I’ve had.
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.
This is my “cheater” big bold red. Like training pants, this is the wine that subtly introduced me to the heartier wine style. So, now, when I’m in the mood for a good wine with substance — but I don’t want to fight with decanting an age-old cellar stasher or fight with the modern-day tannin bombs — I turn to Michael David Petite Petit. That’s a fact.
PS Yes I love elephants. Can you see my elephant drinking in the background?