2018 Theopolis Vineyards, Petite Sirah, Estate Grown, Yorkville Highlands.
The latest release from Theodora Lee (akaTheopatra) and Theopolis Vineyards is her estate grown Petite Sirah, which is thrill ride of dense and spicy flavors and comes her amazing terraced vineyard in the Yorkville Highlands in Mendocino County. This might be the best site and most distinct for Petite Sirah in California, and I have loved this wine since I first tried it, with this 2018 being one of the most exciting to date, its inky purple opaque color and its racy peppery undercurrent making it irresistible. I recently had Halcon’s version from this vineyard and was blown away, so I was really geared up to try Theodora’s and it doesn’t disappoint with its deep blackberry, blueberry, plum and cherry fruits leading the way on the nervy youthful palate that is accented by a touch of sweet wood, mocha and dried dark flowers. As I have found over the last five vintages, this site give Petite Sirah a Northern Rhone like profile and this 2018, from a long cool growing season, really accentuates that character with the mentioned peppery nature or peppercorn note as well as the lively energy found here. It additionally adds hints of lilacs, anise and creme de cassis come out with air and the power tannins smooth out when this beautiful Petite Sirah opens up, this is very serious stuff.
Theodora Lee, originally from Texas and a well respected trial lawyer, fell in love with California wine after moving to the San Francisco area in 1987 and after seeing many of her colleagues invest in vineyards and wineries she founded Theopolis Vineyards back in 2003. Her passion for wine led her to the remote and steep hillsides of the Yorkville Highlands with Lee focusing on Petite Sirah grape believing it had the best potential here and would make for an iconic example, this vision has really come true, with these last three vintages, all being very different, showing just how outrageously great this place is and how exceptional her wines can be. This 2018 gains richness in the glass and while hyper intense and alive in the mouth it also feels wonderfully opulent in texture and the length is absolute stunning. Lee has taken UC Davis enology classes and is very hands on with her wines, which include this signature bottling, as well as doing a unique Rosé of Petite Sirah and a few tasty Pinot Noir offerings, plus she does fruity white wine made from a hybrid varietal, called Symphony, that was a crossing of Muscat and Grenache Gris. This 2018 Estate Petite Sirah looks set to be a classic and age worthy wine that will certainly impress lovers of this grape, it also really goes great with robust meat dishes with lamb and or short ribs being great choices.
($39 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive