Sunday, October 4, 2009

In the Glass: 1987 Field Stone Winery (California), Petite Sirah

Picture: Field Stone Winery Healdsburg California

1987 Field Stone Winery, Healdsburg, 13 % alcohol, Petite Sirah, Alexander Valley

The wine comes from a celebrated century-old heritage vineyard that provides a rare taste experience of California wine history. The vineyard was planted in 1894 by an Italian farm family in Alexander Valley. The picturesque plot of gnarled head-pruned vines, which is part of the larger Old Terra Rosa block, was described in the 1895 Alexander Valley Directory as “the best grape land in California.” From the 1987 vintage, only 7272 bottles were produced.

This more than 20 years old wine was ruby-dark in the glass, not the slightest hint of over-aging. A wave of strawberries and other red fruit on the nose. Big red wine with appealing flavors of chocolate, plum and spices on the palate. A powerful, yet balanced wine.

I had the pleasure of detecting this bottle (actually two bottles) in the wine cellar of the father of my daughter’s fiancé. He prefers younger wines and was unsure if he could serve that old wine to us. But after we had opened the bottle he concurred with me that this wine had aged gracefully and that it was a pleasure to drink it after so many years waiting for that moment in his cellar in Potomac/Maryland.

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