Skip to main content

2008 Foppiano Petite Sirah meets an American Classic

I hope you enjoyed that fun side trip to Tuscany and will seek out a few Super Tuscan's the next time you're shopping for vino, which in my mind are fantastic food pairing champions.

Speaking of food pairing the wine I'm about to introduce you to has an easy drinking wow factor. Join me as I take another spin in the wine-wagon for a trip to the wonderful Sonoma Valley and the Russian River.

Another fantastic wine from my friends at Foppiano Vineyards in Sonoma, who produced what is believed to be uncommon varietal for this area, an Russian River Valley Petite Sirah. If you are up for an visit, their tasting room is easily located on Old Redwood Highway, just south of the charming town of Healdsburg and really just down the road from "J" and Rodney Strong [god if you love Cab-Sauv as much as I do, give them swirl].

The American classic met its match here in Arizona, as I was enjoying a bit of relaxation at the Botanical Gardens, hiking the rocky, petrified-wood lined mountains and hitting the local water park. What is that American classic, well it was none-the-other than home-style meatloaf, a mouth watering blend of beef, pork and vegetables, which is slow-baked and topped with a sweet tomato compote, which really brought the dish altogether. A wonderful take out order I picked up from the huge portion house, Claim Jumper.

After a full day of water-parking and swimming a few laps in the Arizona Grand Resorts huge pool, I was jonesing for some down-home styled comfort food and this dish really delivered, sided with home-made style mash and some demi-glace slow roasted carrots and crisp zucchini. To say I was in hog heaven, would be an under-statement and paired with the Foppiano Petite Sirah it was the master stroke. I could not rave enough about how utterly winetastic this juice was, right out of the gate, no decanting, Vinturi's or Soiree's needed. Because right after the cork was popped, this wine put on a flavor and finesse clinic.

Swirly, Sniff and Slurp: This wine really travels well, as it accompanied my wife and I, on our Arizona road trip and not even a bit of bottle shock, from transport. Right after uncorking and pouring myself a few ounces, whoa a very dark, virtually opaque ruby colored core. The aromas from the glass were like a fragrant perfume, layers of nutmeg, Indian spices and vanilla and black licorice. On the palate expressive red and dark fruits, hints of toasty oak, molten licorice, bursting with blueberry and dark cherry flavors, laying on a bed of silky tannins and mouth watering acidity that lead to a pleasing albeit short finish. I was very sad, when the last drop had left my glass and you will be as well if you don't grab yourself a case of this delicious budget-friendly vino, that is as food friendly of a wine as you will find any where. Please don't doubt me, this is fantastic juice.

Special Handling: I thought it was interesting to note, that perhaps their winemakers handling of this wine is what really made the difference, in this PS finely honed and well integrated tannins. Because while many winemakers treat Petite Sirah like Cabernet Sauvignon embracing hard-edged tannins, meant for longer aging. Foppiano's winemaker, Natalie West prefers gentle-handling of her Estate Petite Sirah and goes as far as to treat it like her Pinot Noir [which I found very good]. Their PS experiences a gentle press [PS, I luv you] and is fermented in open top fermenters with punch-downs [for color extraction] three times a day. I also found the oak regiment to be very interesting, a whopping 70% was neutral oak and only 25% new french oak 5% new Hungarian oak. An interesting and refreshing approach to PS, definitely delivered the style of wine she was aiming to make. Kudos to you Natalie!

Other Voices: The folks over at the Blog Wine Cellar had this to say about the Foppiano PS, "Perhaps with a few years in bottle this wine will become even more balanced and I would guess that the bouquet will only get better over the years. Killer wine fore the price ($18-20) 89+ points" They detected a bit of heat from the 15% plus ABV, I didn't however and if it's a concern an hour of decanting could rectify the issue nicely.

What's the Score: The QPR [quality price ratio] is through the roof and a mere 89 points will not do this wine justice, so I'm giving this wine a score of 91 points and listing it as a "Best-Buy" recommendation.

Price and Purchase: This wine can be found at many locations online selling for under $15 and of course it can be purchased directly from the winery for just a bit more. With a little over six thousand cases produced, you have my drink now and drink often recommendation as this wine represents the ideal everyday drinker type of vino. It will improve with more bottle age, but why wait when it's drinking so fabulously right now.

That's is all I got for you today folks, please do yourself a favor and grab some of this very well made Petit Sirah that is smooth as silk, easy on the eyes and the wallet.  Until, next time sip long and prosper, cheers!

Full Disclosure: This wine was sent as a sample for the review process.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Champagne Uncorked: A Visit to Champagne Louis Roederer

“I'll drink your champagne. I'll drink every drop of it, I don't care if it kills me.”  ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby Girls
My first trip to Champagne, was for me, a complete success. I came away from the trip with a brand new appreciation and a deeper desire to get to know it so much better. With each trip to France, I come away with a profound new respect for the country and its people. I've become a Francophile. A place, I barely knew or understood twelve years ago, back before I started this wine journey I'm currently on. I know this will sound cliched, but I like to think of wine as a journey, it's not a destination.

Each stone you overturn on the pathway to discovery develops greater understanding and appreciation not only for the wine but for the great folks behind these labels, who bring great traditions and passion to the table. It's evident in what they say, how they say it and oh-so-evident in the final product, passion is a sure 'seller' a…

Five Last-Minute Thanksgiving Wine Buys

"The three things that make a vineyard great are the climate, the soil, and the exposure. Bien Nacido Vineyard ~ James Ontiveros  

Another wonderful year is nearly ready to put in the can and stored away for posterity. But every year at this time we collectively take the time-out to give a "thanks" for our many blessings.Every year at this time, I give my Top Five Thanksgiving Holiday Wine 'picks' and this year is no exception. I know my post is a bit "danger" close for those wanting to stock up for the holiday, but this short and sweet guide is for the procrastinators who've waited for the last minute to hear about five Oregon Pinot Noir selections to brighten up their holiday menus for Thursdays big feast. 

The Willamette Valley in Oregon is known as a 'mecca' of sorts, where powerful, yet delicate, soulful Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay is grown, fermented, aged and bottled. I've recently become a resident of this state, much t…

A Spoonful of Social Media

“You can buy attention [advertising]. You can beg for attention from the media [PR], or you can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” –David Meerman Scott, Best-Selling Author & Speaker

It was just about four years ago in downtown Paso Robles that Mrs. Cuvee and I were visiting the area, which we try to do as often as possible. We love to hit the wine trail nice and early, but before we head out for the day, we make it a point to have a big breakfast. Since we were staying at the Paso Robles Inn, we thought we'd have breakfast there at least once, the food was tasty, the service was excellent, and the coffee was hot. 

Just one thing was missing that morning; there were no spoons, yes you heard me right, not even a single spoon anywhere to stir cream and sugar into my coffee. We looked at the tables behind us, nothing, we looked into the server station, t…