Dark, Delicious, and Dynamite!

Spoiler Alert! This post is about First Friday.

First Friday @ Monte Bello
Date: 10/4/2013, 4-7pm

Eventbrite - First Friday at Monte Bello - October 2013

And little chocolate cakes.


And Dynamite Hill Petite Sirah.


Given my position at Ridge, it’s pretty much inevitable that I spend a great deal of my time discussing our wine clubs.

The Collector Program? Of course! The Judgement of Paris story alone pretty much guarantees that the Monte Bello is a Wine of Interest for people. Not to mention some five decades of almost otherworldly quality and consistency. (“Monte Bello has repeatedly proved its singular worth across a half-century of vintages, meeting and beating the competition in pretty much any year you’d care to choose. – Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator).

And the Zlist? You bet! And not just because President Obama has been drinking our Geyserville either. Though he has.

And then there’s the ATP program. Which is something else altogether. California’s oldest wine club? Quite possibly. It was 1977 when it launched, and it’s still the best way to guarantee access to our finest limited-production, winery-only offerings.

So, a new ATP release is always something to celebrate. And a new Dynamite Hill Petite Sirah release is … well … dynamite!

Oh, how I labored over how to title this post! A Taste of Triple D? (Dark, Delicious, & Dynamite!).


I could have, however, called it “Kathy & Ingrid’s Little Chocolate Cakes.”




Because that’s what you’ll be tasting with the new Dynamite Hill Petite Sirah if you come to First Friday this Friday at our Monte Bello Estate!


But first, more about why the ATP program is so great.

Specifically, cellar maturation. One of the great things about the ATP wines is that, because they’re not distributed, we can release them whenever we feel like it; i.e. we can release them “to taste.” Meaning, we can release them when we really and truly feel they’re ready to be shown, tasted, and enjoyed. Obviously this takes a great deal of internal “research,” but fortunately, we’re taking the bullets, so that you don’t have to.

Which makes us, essentially, superheros.

The point being, Petite Sirah likes to cellar out a bit. Those tannins can be borderline impenetrable when young. So with the new release being a 2007, it’s done some softening in the bottle.

That said, those are still Petite Sirah tannins.

Which is why these little chocolate cakes taste so good with this wine!

Per the chefs, it’s the butter.

Isn’t it always, chefs?

Anyhow, about First Friday. It’s this Friday. And it’s at Monte Bello. And we’ll be showcasing the new Dynamite Hill Petite Sirah. And our glorious chefs Kathy and Ingrid will be offering amazing little chocolate cakes. One for each of you.

And you, will be happy.

First Friday @ Monte Bello
Date: 10/4/2013, 4-7pm

Eventbrite - First Friday at Monte Bello - October 2013


And now, for some tasting notes:

Rich, purple hues in the glass, divinely devoid of the masking black that can often result in sludgier, muddier renditions of this challengingly depth-charged varietal. In this wine’s case, the purple is halo’d with a rather more glamorous magenta, and even shows a garnet sheen enervating the conspiratorial freshness of the highlights. The glaze in the bowl is predictably dense and adhesive, but at 13.7% ABV, this is no alcohol monster; what we’re seeing in the glass is mouthfeel enacted; decadent, supine, sensual mouthfeel. The aromatics are autumn-fine, corralling a spicy currant character alongside an appealing barkiness, girdled with a lace of pine and almond, and decorated with a lilacian florality. On the palate the wine is dense indeed, but with some four years of bottle age, the tannins have softened, and the acidity is still quite bright. The 7% zin in the blend certainly adds some fruit to the profile, but I believe it’s the young vine blocks in the assemblage that provide the lift. All in all, this is no average bear of a Petite Sirah. Sweet, little buttery chocolate cakes, anyone?

Categories: Events, Food & Wine Pairing, Geyserville, History, Monte Bello, Offerings, Petite Sirah, Press Reviews, Tasting Events/Opportunities, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine & Food Pairing, Wine Clubs

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1 reply

  1. Christopher,
    Sorry to miss this one. Visiting Chuck Sack for dinner and really old Petite Sirah. Next time for sure. Les and Rene

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