In my wine appreciation class, I always try to pull out an older wine to demonstrate that "older" is "better" applies only to epeeists, but not to wine. Well...sure blew this one:
1. HopKiln RussianRiverVlly PetiteSirah (12.5%; http://www.hopkilnwinery.com
) 1978: Very dark/near black color w/ very little bricking; very strong peppery/old vine/dusty perfumed slight floral/violets/dried rose petal complex beautiful aromatic nose; soft/round/velvety/very smooth spicy/peppery/floral slight licorice/pungent bit cedary quite complex/old vine flavor; very long/lingering smooth/polished/velvety spicy/peppery/cedary/dusty finish w/ whisps of tannins; incredibly young & alive and come together amazingly well w/ no signs of drying out whatsoever; a real treasure. $7.09 (back when gas was a whopping $.69/gallon)
Ruminations from the BloodyPulpit:
1. There was a fair amout of leakage and the wine was ullaged halfway down the shoulder. The label was stained from leakage of the '63 Smoot-Hawley White Zin that was on top of it. Lots of gunk on the lip. Cork was a bit fragile but came out whole.
The first thing that got my attention when I poured it was the color...very dark/near black. I'm certain Marty musta blended in a small amount of PetiteSirah to make it darker.
The next thing I noticed was the incredible legs that just kept on rivulting down the side of the glass. 12.5% alcohol?? Don't think so!!
I had little hope for this wine when I pulled it out, pretty certain it was dead. Whatta surprise. It was one of the few PetiteSirahs that has come together well and into a harmonious balance on the palate. Amazing seldom that a 28 yr old wine does that. Not quite up there w/ the '71 Ridge YorkCreek, but awfully darned close.
2. Back in the late '70's, Marty Griffin was making some incredible wines at HopKiln. His Zin, Primitivo (one of the first to use that term on his label) from very old vines, PetiteSirah, and...tada...Marty Griffin's Big Red was a steal. Huge/powerful wines at attractive wines. Not sure what happened to Marty or if he's even alive anymore. And it was a great/funky place to visit. And I seem to recall some botrytis/dessert wines that were pretty terrific. Haven't tried the HopKiln's in a number of yrs, but my last impressions were that they were no longer in the same league of those early one.
TomHill (waxing nostalgic about $.21/gallon gasoline a great HopKilns)