2014OnceandFuturePS2014 Once & Future, Petite Sirah, Palisades Vineyard, Calistoga, Napa Valley.
Joel Peterson, the founder of California’s iconic Zinfandel house Ravenswood, has started a new project that takes him back to a simpler time and back to his signature style of winemaking with his new label Once & Future, it was great to catch up with him and taste his latest wines. The cask samples of 2015 Zinfandel were amazing wines, but it was the current 2014 Petite Sirah from Casitoga and the famed Palisades Vineyard, a historic site on the east side of the valley that is perfect for this dark heritage varietal, that caught my attention. Joel broke out his redwood open top fermenter saved from his earlier days and crafted an amazing wine, a pure and balanced Petite Sirah, one of the best I’ve had in years in fact and one that should age wonderfully with deep fruit, spice and stunning length. At about 14.5% alcohol, this is neither wimpy or full blown, it’s a gorgeous example of class and varietal with lovely textures and detail showing blackberry, cassis, cedar/wood spice, anise, blueberry and a mix of black cherries and currants, along with an array of pepper, cinnamon, sage, mulberry and smoky/stony mineral, with sweet tannins and decedent form. This is a brilliant wine, almost subtle, but gloriously seductive, I tasted this along side Joel’s 1992 Ravenswood Belloni Zinfandel, from his recently rescued wine library, and what a classic gorgeous old wine, in perfect shape and beautifully mature, it shows his prowess and the ability of Zinfandel (and Petite Sirah) to age and become almost Bordeaux like at a certain point, and you can see how and where the Once & Future Petite Sirah will go in time, if you can wait of course, because this 2014 is drinking fantastic right now! It looks to be legendary and shows Joel still has lots of life left in himself too, this project, made at his son’s winery, Bedrock Wine Co. is tiny, but allows him to do things the way he always wanted and express California’s rich history in Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, this hand-crafted wines are well worth searching out!
($55 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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