Sunday, March 9, 2008

2006 Eaglepoint Ranch Petite Sirah in March 2008

We recently tasted from the barrel of our 2006 Eaglepoint Ranch Petite Sirah which comes from Mendocino County. At this point, it has been in the barrel about 15 months and has close to ½ year to go. It is progressing nicely and will be our first product available for sale in very limited production.

As noted in our other recent tasting, we want our wines to pair well with food, but also stand alone if needed. Based on what we tasted this weekend, we are really excited to say that the initial release from Purple Teeth Cellars will impressively pair with the right foods for a long time. The following thoughts are a summary of our notes from tasting over two evenings with and without foods. This is a dark purple wine and should stain teeth effectively.

There are aromas of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, black pepper, oak, vanilla, and some earthiness. The wine smells youthful and powerful at this time.

It is full-bodied and, because it is still very young, it is tart with hard tannins that still need time to mellow in the barrel and eventually the bottle. Jill says it is bone dry while I caught a hint of sweetness that I didn't expect but found pleasing given my sweet, and often stained purple, tooth. We both found this wine to be powerful in flavors with a very long finish.

The flavors we find drinking it alone include black pepper, blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, black currants, and perhaps some thyme.

With our Ultimate Lasagna recipe (which we intend to provide on this site sometime soon), we had our differences. I love hot and spicy food a little more and I found it to bring out the spiciness and black pepper while Jill felt that it killed the earthy and fruity characteristics of the wine. Our lasagna is hot and spicy, and can reduce some flavors. That being said, the heat on the palate can be controlled by the amount of red pepper flakes added.

The following day, Jill made some braised short ribs that paired extremely well with this Petite Sirah. The short ribs had soy sauce, stock, orange rind zest, Chinese five-spice powder, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa and some other herbs/spices. The wine also had a day to open up a little so that should be factored into this tasting to a certain extent. It had a pronounced smokiness, the fruit came forward much more, and it was jammy with a long finish. It just seemed like a pairing made for this wine. We also had some sweet potato french fries which reduced the jammy nature of the wine but enhanced the black fruits and flavors of cloves. The ketchup did not clash with the wine, and after all how can you have fries without having some ketchup?

Like a big cab, this wine pulls some punches. We are very excited and very proud to produce and to offer this Petite Sirah as our inaugural vintage of Purple Teeth Cellars.

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posted by Marc Beck @ 8:58 PM        0 Comments


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