Last summer, our panel evaluated this as part of now-defunct Wine Press Northwest’s “Rhône Gems” comparative tasting. Six months later, Robert Delf’s bottling of Petite Sirah grown by Art den Hoed shows no sign of slowing down. Classic notes of black pepper, blackberry, blueberry and dill lead to more of the same, joined by Damson plum skins. Indeed, it’s a massive red, but there’s gobs of dark purple fruit while the tannins don’t bludgeon your mouth and well-managed alcohol is another plus. Instead, there’s ample juiciness to frame the influence of oak and create a long finish. Suggested pairings include baby back ribs, baked beans, smoky cheese and Chicken Mole, but the thought of a sizzling ribeye topped by fresh-cracked black pepper made our mouths water, too. This Kirkland winemaker also earned our top rating for his 2015 PS from Corvus Vineyard, now an estate planting for Tinte Cellars.
Rating: Outstanding! 93 points
Production: 213 cases