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Thursday, February 10, 2011

2008 Foppiano Vineyards Estate Petite Sirah

It's not extremely common to grace the palate with a Petite Sirah from California's Russian River Valley. For the last few decades Pinot Noir has dominated the wine world from this particular part of Sonoma County, and I find it really interesting that the Foppiano Family still produces 6200 cases of this Estate Bottled Petite Sirah.

Foppiano Vineyards is one of Sonoma County's oldest family-owned wineries, dating back to 1896 when Giovanni Foppiano bought 80 acres of prime Russian River Valley land. Along with this Petite Sirah the family also produces Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and a Rosé.

The color, as one would expect is extremely inky and dark purple. The barrel regimen is as follows: 25% new French oak, 5% new Hungarian oak, 70% neutral oak

On the nose I get brilliant aromas of deliciously ripe black currant, blueberry, wild flowers, and subtle hints of vanilla bean and savory dark chocolate. Very pretty......

On the palate the wine is quite spicy and displays a unique array of flavors such as blueberry, blackberry, white pepper,  graham cracker, and vanilla. I like how the wine doesn't have an over-cloying texture like many Petite Sirah's often do. The wine finishes with some really nice firm tannin and a sweet black cherry note that lingers for around 30 seconds.

The only thing I could be critical about with this wine is the slight touch of heat on the finish. The alcohol is stated as 15.2% on the label, but it's not something that entirely distracts from the overall experience of the wine. Perhaps with a few years in bottle this wine will become even more balanced and I would guess that the bouquet will only get better over the years. Killer wine fore the price ($18-20)  89+ points

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