2021 Puccioni, Petite Sirah, Puccioni Ranch, Dry Creek Valley AVA, Sonoma County.
While the Zinfandel vines here at Puccioni were first planted back in 1904, this younger vine, inky dark and brooding Petite Sirah is sourced from all estate Petite Sirah vines planted at Puccioni Ranch in Dry Creek on a steep hillside block they call (the) Wild Bull, because of the tough terrain where it is growing, which fits with the personality in the wine almost perfectly. This 2021 is vividly purple/black and completely opaque in the glass and there’s tons of chewy dark fruit, rustic tannins, subtle earthiness and bright florals, it takes a while for the Puccioni Petite Sirah to fully open up, mainly as it is still so youthfully tight, but also due the the grape’s nature in general, which is a little wild and gripping. Once open, things turn more polished and charming with blackberry, blueberry, currant and candied cherry fruits leading the way and the tannins, especially with food, smooth out beautifully allowing incredible length and pleasure of texture to unfold. There’s a hint of smoky sweet oak, minty herb, coco and loamy notes too, all of which add to the appeal here, this is a lot of wine for the money and was highly enjoyable over the course of a chilly winter’s night with some rustic Italian cuisine and hard cheeses. The Puccioni family came to the Dry Creek Valley from Lucca, Italy, in Tuscany, back in 1889 and first purchased the property and planted the first vines in 1904, later, over the course of seven years, cleared close to 40 acres by hand and with the help of a mule, which became a fixture of estate, planted it mostly to Zinfandel, later adding this tiny parcel of Petite Sirah, from which this limited batch of wine comes from.

I first tried the Old Vine Zinfandel from winemaker Glenn Proctor at Puccioni Vineyards, a tiny estate producer based in the Dry Creek Valley, and now this sister wine, both of which are fabulous dark full bodied efforts that are compelling examples of their varietals and expressions of place. As noted before, I am a big fan of the Dry Creek Valley, where I tend to visit whenever I’m in the Sonoma region, though I’d not heard of Puccioni Vineyards before, so it was exciting to taste the Zinfandel and this lovely Petite Sirah, its definitely a winery to follow. A fourth generation winegrower, Proctor says, Puccioni Vineyards is one of the original family vineyards in Dry Creek, located not far from the town of Healdsburg, and is committed to sustainable farming and their hand crafted small lots of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Proctor’s great grandfather came from Italy in the late 1800s and founded the Puccioni Ranch in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County in 1904, employing the traditions of the old world and planting Zinfandel on his hillside property. The Puccioni wines, as noted in my prior review, are made using their all estate grown grapes, with the Zin coming from their 100-year-old plus vines, and made to show off the distinctive terroir, California sunshine, and allow some of the rustic charm to shine through, with their 2021s perfectly capturing the year and place in the bottle. Proctor himself sports an impressive resume, he attended C.S.U. Fresno for his Bachelors in Viticulture and then U.C. Davis for his Master’s Degree in Viticulture, he went on to work at Glen Ellen Winery and Benziger Family Winery in the late 80’s, before going on to Napa’s famous BV and Sterling, where he became Vice President of Winegrowing. The wines here are well priced for the price and structured to reward some cellaring as well, especially this Petite Sirah, I’d suggest looking for it and or visiting the winery as soon as possible.
($38 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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