Hidden Cellars 2011 Petite Sirah

Mendocino Cty, CA, 13.5% ABV
$5 at the Oakland, CA, store on 8 Aug

HiddenCellars_2011_PetiteSirahReaders Seedboy and JoelA have already praised this wine in What’s New.  Seedboy wrote, “I’ve been enjoying a bottle of this over the last few days. It is a very nicely balanced wine that is not super fruity, it actually has as much savory as it has fruit. I like it a lot.”  JoelA added, “I also liked the petite sirah. Black fruit up front, coffee/cola/earthy flavors behind. Still young, could age a few years.”

I agree with them!  This is a nicely structured and balanced wine in which neither the fruit nor the tannin is out of control.  On the first night, I thought the wine was tasty, with flavors of cherry, redder blackberry, darker roses and vanilla, but still a bit closed even after two hours of air.  The second half, stored in a 375ml bottle with very little air, was darker and a little more forward and, I thought, more pleasant to drink.  As Joel said, it’s still quite young and should age well for at least a few more years, and it’s a nice wine for those who like to drink a bottle over more than one or two days.

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14 thoughts on “Hidden Cellars 2011 Petite Sirah

  1. EHL

    Hey Lim…hope your bottle and the tannins will smooth out on the second day. I certainly didn’t experience that with my bottle…maybe bottle variation again.

    As to your ’81 Foppiano PS, I hope it turns out to be a monster…I have always had a soft spot for that winery since tasting at it back in the 70s as a budding law student, when it truly was a small mom-and-pop operation.

    Reply
    1. lim13

      We’ll see what develops, EHL…’cause I still have half a bottle left. I don’t suspect bottle variation…just a difference in personal taste and perceptions. My wife and I just loved Foppiano too. Winemaker at the time, Bill Regan took us out to lunch in Sonoma village on one visit and tasted us on a huge, high alcohol Zin he produced that he called Zinfinstein! He had drawn a bottle off a barrel he had. He chose to never release it, but it was killer…almost literally! What a great guy he was. he’s likely still making wine somewhere, but I lost track of him.

      Reply
      1. EHL

        Wow…sounds like you got the VIP treatment, Lim…industry connections or just personality, wit, charm and charisma?

        I’m really jealous…LOL.

        BTW, don’t forget to report back on that ’81 Foppiano PS…when you are spoiled on that caliber of wine, Lim, it’s hard to drink $5 swill, eh…just kidding… ;}

        Reply
      2. lim13

        Reporting back…next day. Wine was on the counter with a rubber stopper and plenty of air. Oak has nearly vanished and the nose and flavors are great. Lots of black fruit, cocoa and tar. But the scratchy, chewy tannins almost completely overwhelm the fruit. And I’m sticking to my suspicion that ageing this PS will leave us with nothing but tannin.

        Reply
        1. EHL

          Thanks for the report, Lim…and glad to see your HC PS did improve significantly on the second day. The second day also dramatically improved my bottle of HC 2010 Zin, although it was pretty tasty from first popping the cork, just lighter in color with red fruit overtones.

          Still waiting big-time on your assessment of that ’81 Foppiano PS, though…

          Reply
  2. EHL

    Nice bottle from Ukiah, I like wines from that area of Mendocino……my favorite varietal, Petite Sirah…….notes of pepper and some mint, along with that dark tasty fruit, but well-balanced, smooth and a pleasing bouquet.

    Picked up the Frey and Novella Petite Sirahs also…….so should be an interesting comparison of different styles and AVAs.

    Reply
  3. lim13

    I’d buy it just for the label! But the flavor/texture profile seems pretty nice too. No sign of it up this-a-way yet, though. Haven’t had a Hidden Cellars wine in many years.

    Reply
        1. bin5

          Sipping on it tonight. Very nice, balanced, and integrated with no characteristic out shining the other. Easy drinker that gives pleasure at a good price. Not sure I would use up aging space, but no hurry to drink it.

          Reply
    1. lim13

      Showed up at the Bremerton store on Friday…only a few cases (I called ahead). And today (Sat. 8/23) it was still on a pallet in the backroom. I had to ask an employee for a few bottles. Didn’t see any in Silverdale yesterday, but they also may have had it on a pallet in the back.

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Tried my first bottle of this tonight. My notes: Slightly less than clear deep, dark crimson/purple; oaky nose takes a good hour or more to begin to meld with the tarry blackberry aromas; in the mouth, the oak is a bit strong at first, but then gradually gives way to tar, blackberry, bitter chocolate/cocoa, coffee and tons of hefty and slightly astringent tannins; quite drying and puckery in the mouth. I’m really not sure that PS should be produced as a varietal. I believe it does better adding texture and body when blended with other varieties. This one has a bit of caramel flavor in the finish. I’ve not usually had a lot of luck with ageing Petite Sirah. I’m often left with all tannin and little fruit. In fact, I have one bottle of 1981 Foppiano still in the cellar that I should probably open just to see if there’s any life left in it. It once was one of my favorite Petitie Sirahs.

        Reply

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