Bodegas Aguirre Winery and Vineyards2003 Petite Syrah Reserva, Estate
By now, if you haven’t heard, Livermore has become a terrific source for some of the most potent Pets on the planet. This wine, grown and produced at the Bodegas Aguirre estate on Tesla Road, is as pleasant as it is potent. Dr. Ricardo Aguirre, MD, didn’t intend to be in the wine business. He really just wanted to grow a few grapes so he could have something to do after he retired. Now, at 2350 cases per year and growing, if he ever retires, he’ll be working harder than he may have planned.
Part of the winery’s instant success was the Petite Sirah. He told me, “The Petite Sirah likes it so much here, we’ve had great success without even trying.” His first vintage – the 2002 – was rated #1 at the Tri-Valley Wine Competition. Dr. Aguirre has both hands in the production of this wine: he supervises every aspect of vineyard management, directing workers to drop about 50% of the crop load to drive intensity. He would like nothing better than to have the fruit so divine that all he adds is yeast and sulfites, and voila! Perfect Pet.
He hit a bulls eye with this one. It’s hugely black-dark, with a blackberry nose that is filled with caramel, spice and earth. This wine smells like it could hold an oil tanker together. Big, sweet, rich blackberry and boysenberry flavors are layered over ripe plums, dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg. Yet, there is a kick of pepper here that makes it really interesting, and invites you to pair it with a nice piece of Angus. The texture is lush and beautiful, and the finish is superb, with lip-smacking dark chocolate. It’s built to be a crowd-pleaser. If you’re looking for a classic “black and blue” pie in your face wine, this is your Pet.
(Alc: 13.6%, Retail: $38)
Reviewed September 21, 2006 by Laura Ness.
Other reviewed wines from Bodegas Aguirre Winery and Vineyards
Bodegas Aguirre Winery and Vineyards
2003 Castello Nuovo, Estate
(Livermore Valley)Laura Ness 12/19/2006
A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.