Friday, October 6, 2017

True Grit: Mendocino Petite Sirah Vertical

Parducci has been producing wine for 85 years. It all started with John Parducci, known in the day as "Mr. Mendocino." He pretty much put Mendocino County on the wine map. Those who keep his vision alive today raise a toast to him every day, I would imagine.

The winery gave me the opportunity to sample a vertical tasting of their Petite Sirah line. The True Grit mentioned on the label refers to the "determination, patience and vision" of the immigrant farmers who had the idea that grapes and Mendocino would pair well together. Petite Sirah, the label goes on, is "an American original, big and bold, with plenty of heart."

Parducci 2004 Mendocino Petite Sirah
This wine is indigo-black. No light is getting through the glass. A whiff shows some black fruit and some serious tar and forest floor. Smoke and leather play a role as well, with a hint of oak spice. As for the palate, don't tell me this is a 13-year-old wine. You can't kid a kidder. The wine is drinking extremely young, and showing its teeth in the tannins. These are jawbreaker tannins that could probably melt a steak by just pouring it on the meat. They do settle down a bit as the glass sits, but don't wait for this do become a "sipper." The darker savory aspects also strengthen as the bottle is open. Black currant and plums come through vividly, and the finish is long.

Parducci 2005 Menocino Petite Sirah
This is an indigo-black wine, with nose that shows a lot more tar than does the 2004. Savory notes abound - tobacco, vanilla, black olive. The palate offers firm tannins, but nothing scary. Blackberry fruit comes off as if it’s been trampled underfoot and gets an overlay of spice rack. It finishes long and savory.

Parducci 2006 Mendocino Petite Sirah
This wine smells dark, but it's heavily laced with cedar and cigar box notes. Black fruit is apparent and rides high on the nose. On the palate, things are surprisingly nice and smooth. Firm tannins are no more than that, and the acidity is youthful. The taste centers on blackberries and a bit of savory tar, but much less than the '04 and '05 display.

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