2011 The Red Hat, red (by Sheldon Wines)
This all new wine from Sheldon is a Petite Sirah from old vines grown on a small vineyard near Calistoga and is another intriguing take on this grape, making for a lively fresh style of wine with bright acidity and a medium body. While young and vibrant, it will gain fuller flavors with more bottle time, like all the Sheldon wines do and while I really like it now, it will be much more complex and deep in a year or so. Only a couple of barrels were produced, and this artisanal wine certainly will sell out fast, that is why I’m writing about it now, so people get a shot at it before it is gone. Dylan and Tobe Sheldon make lighter and lower alcohol wines, and they are always full of character and more subtle detail, and like many of the modern generation are committed to using neutral or used oak to let the fruit and acidity to shine through and this new The Red Hat is not your full throttle inky Petite Sirah, is is much more delicate and textured with red fruits and wild spices and herbs showing along with bitter coco, lavender and tangy candied citrus rind, plus hints of saline savory elements. With air this wine comes alive with blueberry, cranberry and black cherry fruit and lingers on the finish. Look forward to lots of added details to come forward over the next few years in bottle, it will be rewarding to watch this red develop.
($42 Est.) 91-92 Points, grapelive

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