WTN: HopKiln PetiteSirah 1978....

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WTN: HopKiln PetiteSirah 1978....

Postby TomHill » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:37 am

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)
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Re: WTN: HopKiln PetiteSirah 1978....

Postby Jenise » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:05 pm

Excuse me, but...a 63 white zin? Clearly, that's the wine you should have served instead.
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Re: WTN: HopKiln PetiteSirah 1978....

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:04 pm

Nice to hear that an old Hop Kiln wine is still going strong. I agree that what they put out now is not even close to what Marty Griffin did back in the day.

Sorry to hear about the Smoot-Hawley, though.....


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Postby TomHill » Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:22 pm

You gotta learn to not take everything/anything I say too seriously!!!
There's a story behind Smoot-Hawley White Zin...it's one of the InterNet Urban Legends...sorta like me I guess. :-)
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A legend well worth telling ... at the level of the U-Haul trailer yarn.

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Apr 28, 2006 3:28 pm

Whenever I get an excuse, I love posting this tasting note:

Turley Napa Valley Smoot-Hawley Vnyd Sparkling WhiteZin (17.2%) '98: Continuous stream in the glass of huge bubbles the size of DollyParton's.... umhh... whatever; pale pink/salmon color; very fragrant nose of strawberry soda pop and CheezWhiz; huge/ripe/elegant candied/strawberry flavors that assault the palate like....umhh... whatever; very long lingering strawberry candy/ silicone finish that goes on and on; a classic example of great sparkling WhiteZin; reasonably priced at $37.49

Thanks so much, Tom, for a wonderful laugh. You were as funny as Miss Piggy and her sparkler from Idaho.

Regards, Bob
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Re: A legend well worth telling ... at the level of the U-Haul trailer yarn.

Postby Bill Spohn » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:05 pm

Thanks for the reminder - I still have a bottle of 1989 kicking around here somewhere.....
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