David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a delicious Californian red from an unexpected grape
Trentadue 2010 La Storia Petite Sirah
$23.95 | Alexander Valley, California | 93 points
Petite sirah is a black grape variety that has lurked on the fringes of California’s fine wine scene for generations. Its wines are powerful and sturdy but often one-dimensional, so it’s largely used as a blending variety, often bolstering red zinfandel. But occasionally—when harvested from very old vines—it can soar on its own. In this excellent example, some of the vines are over 100 years of age.
The taste: This opaque purple-black wine shows off the wonderful fruit purity and directness that comes from old vines. It has a riveting nose drenched in blackberry fruit, which is nicely trimmed with fresh cedar bough, licorice and vanilla from ageing in oak barrels. It’s full bodied and a touch sweet, with beautiful wildberry flavours, great acid edge and excellent length. This is delicious.
How to drink it: This certainly has the weight and density to keep—for a decade at least—but it’s also balanced enough to drink now, and the fruit character is so spectacular that I would hate to see it fade into leathery maturity. Decant to let it breathe for an hour or two, use a large bowled glass that will pump the aromas, then enjoy with roasts of game or lamb.