Of all the unappreciated grapes in wine, Petite Sirah is surely near the top of the list*. It grows in the same climates and soils as Cabernet Sauvignon, and is invariably overshadowed. And of all the unappreciated vintages, California's 1996 would rank right up there; the 1997 vintage was
We were headed out to dinner at our local favorite Tuscany (Westlake Village), with their usual perfect filet mignon in mind, and on a whim I poked my head into our wine room to see if there wasn't something that needed drinking. I have our older stuff arranged by vintage, and sitting next to the once-big-but-now-diminishing block of 1997s I've hoarded was this little gem. What the heck I thought and dragged it along. On the first whiff I knew we were in for a treat; and on the first sip: Wow! As it opened up it just got bigger and brighter and smoother and longer until it became entirely wonderful.
The best thing of all: I have one more just like it :)