MOCK SOMM: Archival Wines, Napa Valley, Juliana Vineyard, Petite Sirah, 2013

With much PS interpretation you should expect darkness and a preponderance of texture and that’s about it– typically not a lot of complexity, and better left a blending appendage.  But with this bottle you find enigma and spells; the dark fruit and the texture, color most assuredly, but then you’re greeted by this subtext of earth and herbaceous reverb which I’m told, by winemaker Blair Guthrie, is the concomitant of picking earlier than 90% of California Petite Sirahs.  But for the consumer this wine does have its magnitude and severity in strength.  You’ll benefit from letting the wine collect itself a IMG_6609bit, for about two hours to let all those unrivaled flavor arrangements and dimensional shifts in this Napa PS catalyze and come to life, ready itself for showing.  And at the end of the wait, you have composure and accuracy with what the wine intends you to experience and know–  And as you MAY know, or you should, I look for wines that teach me something new either about the chief varietal in bottle or where the fruit’s from.  This victors on both accounts.  And I’ve never had these wines before, this.. my first impression, and that to me translates as Literature, the story and narrative, and a simple but puncturing reward for me as the sipper, reader…  Dickinson said, “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” Not to say I won’t buy more bottles from Archival, more of this capsuled vampiric whirl, but there will never be a first time, again; me sipping this ’13 not knowing what I’ll encounter and trusting I’ll quite enjoy it only to find the impression it left with me as the sipper, reader, was resounding.  Depth from intro to summation of sip– diverse and direct, a flavorful harness to senses and imagination, taunting you to entertain: “What do I pair with this?” To which I respond, “Whatever you want.” Or, “Why do you have to ‘pair’ it with anything?” Why not just enjoy the novel in the bottle?

And on a bit of a side-note, you can tell these wines were made with intimacy and honesty and a proper monitoring and collaborative curve with the fruit once it arrived at the crush pad.. meant to capture a moment, be singular and never-mimicked… and one way to discern and deduct such, the color– I mentioned its ‘vampiric’ placement and presence and that’s energetically visible in the glass; and the flavors are of the elevated ardor you can only calculate are tempestuously woven into the narrative and apexing aim of the wine.  The effort and acuteness, shown.  Immediate…  And like a Dickinson poem, much is said in a small space, just a meek sip, even one of those miser-ing one-ounce tasting room “pours”.  And how can it not be, this Napa Valley Petite with its persuasive coherence and feel and its volume and content…  Such loud and dramatic edges; romantic and rhythmic, wonderfully illustrative and musical, truthful…..  That’s success, with the winemaking exertion; that’s a story, a narrative, something I or anyone would, should, sip.  Mr. Guthrie will tell you, “My wines…you can’t ever reproduce them, I would never want to because they are my expression of that growing season and that moment in history.  An Archive, if you will…”