Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review: Heringer Petite Sirahs

A Duo Of Dark Ones From the Delta

Say that three times fast.

Bottom Line: Competent, likeable, and unique Petit Sirahs made in miniscule quantities. $21-26

The Rest of the Story: (Disclosure: These wines were received as press samples from an industry trade group.) Mike Heringer, grower, winemaker, and family member at Heringer Estates, takes a loving, fatherly approach to nuturing the family's vineyards.  Just 15 minutes south of Sacramento in Clarksburg, the Heringers have been farming this land for over 140 years...


That's pretty cool.

Though we got our grimy little hands on a couple of their limited production Petite Sirah's, the Heringers produce a whole gaggle of varietals including Barbera, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and many others. Based on our experience with these two wines, the others are probably worth checking out, too.

2005 Heringer Estates Petite Sirah Clarksburg Holland Landing $21
Going into the decanter this wine doesn't just smell exciting, it smells excited - frothing its royal violet bubbles, this Petite has a nose that speaks for itself. Though PS is known for its longevity and need for plenty of air, this one comes across like a Zin: flirtatious, friendly, and accessible.  Firm, fresh, and fun to be with.  (Did I say Zin, or that cute girl Karen back in Sophomore year?)  Gobs of bright red fruit are anything but shy in this fun loving juice.  Th murky clarity of this wine belies the small quantities it's made in - only 300 cases.  Unpretentious, easy going, and burger-friendly - and all this within 3 minutes of the cork's pull.  Bravo.



2006 Heringer Estates Petite Sirah Clarksburg $26
Forebodingly dark and dense going into the decanter - a mysterious-looking wine.  Darker and richer-smelling than the Holland Landing, though with enough similarities to know they're siblings.  Instant likeability for its attractive, straightforward fruit.  Delivers efficiently in a structured, balanced package.  The telltale Petit tannins aren't at all off-putting anbd the lingering flavors even develop.  A lot to like here.  Like its sibling, lots of Zin chracter - uncomplicated and easy going.  375 Cases made.

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