1978 Ridge Petite Sirah York Creek

While the power and dark intensity of Petite Sirah can be often overwhelming in its youth, I have found these wines to be remarkably enjoyable after several decades in the bottle. Inevitably, Petite Sirah’s evolution is a slow one, with the wine stubbornly clinging to its primary elements long after other varieties have traded in their fruit for more tertiary nuances.

Ridge’s Petite Sirah York Creek, from a site on Spring Mountain, represents old-school California at its best. Still impressively dark in hue, this timeless wine offers a complex nose of sweet black currants, shoe polish, sandalwood, leather, rosemary, and a subtle violet. On the palate, the 1978 is rich and deeply flavored, with intensely concentrated, succulent fruit and a bright whip of acidity in the finish. While certainly mature, the 1978 is not at all tired, and is undoubtedly capable of further aging. 93/Drinking window: 2015-2025.

-- Kelli White