2016 Sheldon Wines, Old Vine Petite Sirah “I’ll get him in the Straightaway” Napa Valley.
Dylan and Tobe Sheldon’s tribute single barrel tribute to their friend, the late Ted Van Doorn, their “I’ll get him in the Straightaway” old vine Petite Sirah from a resurrected ancient prohibition era plot near Calistoga in Napa Valley, is a beautifully balanced deeply flavored. The dark purple/black with garnet edges Sheldon Petite Sirah is wonderfully balanced and textural for such a young grapey fresh wine, being only 13.6% helps with the overall graceful and easy drinking feel, it’s medium full bodied, mildly tannic with racy black and blue fruits, spices and peaked natural acidity, absolutely lovable and expressive throughout. Leaner versions of Petite Sirah (Durif) are making some headlines this year showing just how beautiful and vibrant this grape can be when not over done, Sheldon has always explored the lighter more delicate side of Peite Sirah while still being hedonistic, others to look for that made a great impression on me were Ian Brand’s Le P’ Tit Paysan Petite Sirah Monterey County, a stony/mineral driven version and Halcon Vineyards Yorkville Highlands Theopolis Vineyard Tierra Petite Sirah that shows an edgier Rhone/Cornas side, that might be the most exciting wine made from this grape I’ve ever tasted. This “I’ll get him in the Straightaway” Old Vine Petite Sirah flows with wild blackberry, sweet blueberry, currant jelly and concord grape fruits with hints of minty basil, pepper, incense, mineral, delicate liquid violet/acacia and kirsch. Look for a bolder/richer side to unfold with age, but still tons of fun right now, it has plenty of raw extract and density of fruit, the Sheldon’s used native yeast and raised this in a well seasoned French barrel allowing the vineyard and grape to express exceptional purity and detail, I can imagine this being a wonderful surprise in 10 to 15 years, if you could put a few bottles away, you almost can see it turning into a classy Bordeaux like wine with maturity, though I still like it’s fresh charms right now. Order this 25 case limited bottling direct from Sheldon Wines at www.sheldonwines.com and don’t miss their unique Graciano, Syrah and the Red Hat (a blend of Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon from the same old vine vineyard as this Petite Syrah) all of which are stylish micro batch and naturally made wines.
($35 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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