When putting together the wines for 12 Days of Petite Sirah, I knew I'd want to include several selections from Paso Robles. I've long been a fan of this area. Quite a few wineries have been producing distinct offerings from Paso for many years now. Wine aficionados and now consumers in general seem to be getting the message about the wines coming out of this Central California Wine Appellation. EOS Estate Winery produces several different Petite Sirah's. I'll be looking at two of them today and then a third later on during the 12 Days of Petite Sirah. EOS has over 700 acres under vine. They're a family owned winery whose stated mission is to produce fruity, food friendly wines that are indicative of their Paso Robles origin. First up is the EOS 2005 Estate Petite Sirah. This selection is 100% Petite Sirah. 88% was it aged for 18 months in neutral oak, 9% of it in two year old Hungarian oak and the balance (3%) in 0ne year old French oak. The fruit was sourced from their Brothers Ranch vineyard. The suggested retail price for this wine is $18.
This wine opens with an absolutely immense nose of chocolate covered blueberries. The first sip reveals that as with the majority of Petite Sirah's this wines need a solid decanting. An hour will benefit it greatly, 2 hours even more so if you have the time. Once it opens up though, rich jammy fruit is immediately evident. Vanilla bean and white pepper emerge on the mid-palate and carry through the finish, which also shows some earthiness. I enjoyed this wine with a grilled burger and pasta salad for the first meal of the season out on my deck. With moderate alcohol (13.5%) and present but not overpowering tannins this one goes down easy and will match a wide array of foods.
The 2005 EOS Estate Petite Sirah is rich with flavor but it's not a heavy wine. That makes it a good selection as a summer red that won't bog you down. Retailing at $18 and commonly available for a few dollars less than that (check out wine-searcher.com) this is a good value in well crafted, approachable Petite Sirah. Laying a couple down won't hurt either. A few years in the cellar will bring out some earthiness and allow the wine to show a subtler side.
The second wine today is the EOS Estate Reserve Petite Sirah. It's also from the 2005 vintage. All the fruit from this one came from a specific block of the same Brother Ranch Vineyard the previous wine was sourced from. In addition to more specific fruit selection oak treatment on this wine was quite different as well. 27.6% of the juice spent 23 months in new French oak, 18.9% in new American oak, 18.9% in new Hungarian oak and the remainder in on year old Hungarian oak (0.8%), two year old American oak (7.9%) and neutral oak (3%). The suggested retail price for this selection is $25.
The 2005 Reserve open with a nose of candied plum that's underscored by earthiness and a subtle smokiness. As with the other selection I definitely recommend decanting this wine to get the most out of it. After it opens up, rich jammy fruit in the form of blackberry, dark cherry and plum emerge and are mouth filling. This wine has a spiciness and earthiness that emerge prominently in the rich, round, slightly sweet mid-palate. All these characteristics ride out to the finish. Those elements provide endearing layers of complexity to this wine. Sausage & Peppers, Lamb Chops and other rich foods will be the best matches for this Petite Sirah.
Firmer tannins and a more structured wine suggest the reserve has quite a few years of evolution ahead of it. It's appealing now but I'd be very curious to see how it's evolved in 5 or 10 years.
Both Petite Sirah's from EOS Estate Winery are well balanced with good acid. While neither wine will break the bank cost wise the 2005 Estate is a candidate for everyday drinking. The reserve is a very good value in its price category, especially when it's age worthiness is added to the mix.
Check out PS I love You, the Advocacy Group dedicated to this great varietal.
More than 15 Petite Sirah Reviews Still to come as the 12 Days of Petite Sirah continues!
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