Over the last year or two I’ve had more and more wines from Mendocino County in California. And I have to say that I’m finding quite a few that I enjoy. So when the opportunity presents itself to taste one I haven’t had before I jump at the chance. Such was the case with this blend from Paul Dolan Vineyards. This Mendocino producer farms organically and biodynamically. Those two things also up the appeal for me. The 2006 Paul Dolan Vineyards Deep Red is made from 100% Estate fruit and entirely sourced at their Dark Horse Farms Vineyard. This offering is a blend of Syrah (56%), Petite Sirah (31%), and Grenache (12%). 770 cases of this vintage were produced and the suggested retail price is $45.
The color of this wine is immediately striking. Its hue is as black as night in the glass. Taking the first whiff dark fruit aromas such as plum and blueberry emerge and are immediately underscored by red fruit notes. The palate is layered with intense and intermingling fruit flavors. Both bright and dark flavors are prominent as the Syrah and Petite Sirah that dominate this blend tussle for control of your taste buds; black cherry, blackberry and raspberry are of particular note. Black pepper notes kick in mid-palate and lead to the finish which shows dark chocolate dipped raspberry, earth, minerals and espresso bean notes. That finish has very nice length. This wine is well balanced and has excellent acidity.
Despite alcohol clocking in at well over 15% this wine doesn’t drink hot in the least. I’m a sucker for Petite Sirah in general and the 31% in this offering makes it intense and brooding presence known. If you’re going to drink this wine over the next year or so I’d recommend decanting for at least an hour. If on the other hand you have patience, which I rarely do with Petite Sirah, feel free to cellar this for the next 5-8 years and watch it develop as the earthy characteristics take greater hold. This is a terrific wine.