Kiler Grove is a local winery to us, to our great delight (Salt Lake City’s first winery!). We have been a fan since day one. Fermenting luscious, studiously strong wines since last spring, Kiler Grove has risen to the high ranks of our rigorous approval list. Winemaker Micheal Knight has been gracing the valley with his wineries seductive “Trebbiano,” a studious, deep and full white wine mix of 90% Trebbiano and 10% Sauvingnon Blanc; their “Interpretation,” a heady, old world, earthy and chewy/silky mélange of Grenache, Mourvédre and Petite Sirah; the ever popular “Zinergy,” a fantastic blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and rounding off with 5% Grenache, that exhibit well rounded deep cherry and abundant dark earth; the 100% “Zinfandel,” Paso Robles grapes, has always had a backed up bottle perching in our wine rack, having a finesse and elegance whilst remaining spicy and succulent near the back end; and finally their flagship “Petite Sirah,” a 90% Petite Sirah, 5% Grenache and 5% Mourvédre blend that, especially in their previous bottling, the 2007 vintage, was a sensuous, dreamy, velvety and bold wine with dark pleasantness and well rounded, fruity flair.
More recently the winery has released their 2009 “Grenache,” which we were able to try (and purchased) during a recent tasting. Although not as tight, and succulent as their other offerings, it did offer an interesting and complex motif that reminded us of wines from South America, even hints of Rioja-like terrior. With some age, or the right food pairings, this wine would be lovely to spend an evening with.
With the aforementioned tasting we also purchased their new 2009 Petite Sirah–two bottles, in fact. During the tasting we noticed right away that this was a different wine entirely from their 2007 vintage. Close enough in style, yes, but this had a deeper vibe, some unwieldy, surprising quirk. We weren’t quite sure if it was young, lavished a new experimental mix, or our expectations were through the roof. We had to find out with an expanded tasting of an entire bottle. Two bottles would suffice; one young, one for drinking somewhere down the road (knowing us, a month or two from now).
Kiler Grove Petite Sirah 2009 $26 14.5%
– Purple-plum dark; a sure-thang to darken your lips, blacken the tongue. The destitute pirate look is in now a’ days, so…
– There’s a deep floral and fruit forward wall that clamors its way into the back of your nostrils. Very potent. Pomegranate, deep cherry and cedar become clear in time. After some warmth, there was a great deal of tart, almost a candy redolence–like a sour patch kid, that lingered. Glands salivated.
– Darkness prevails; this is a young wine, for sure. The classic characteristic of Petite is all there; chunky, heady and full of alcoholic back bone. There is a great amount of sweetness present, but fear not, it is perfectly situated and kept controlled by the wines darkest recesses. This Petite is pleasant to the last drop, going down easy, but making itself known with a kick and bite on the way down. A complaint, however: it is a little too young, and because of this there is a distinct lack of rounded coalescence in the mid range. The character is just not there yet. We also noted that the linger was “very limp,” almost chubby with its alcoholic presence.
Overall: Worthy. It may be a little pricy, at $26, for a Petite Sirah experience you can get for a few bucks less from vineyards in the southern wilds of Australia or Northern California. But this wine does offer classy distinctiveness in its restraint of sweet and just-so tart that other Petites can’t quite offer. Not to mention that there are many years of ever changing elegance that this wine will soon discover. Try this: Leave a scolding note to yourself – your future self – for opening the bottle so young, and stick it on the cap for a good couple of years. That should keep you at bay.
Quote of the Evening:
Every episode [of Star Trek] should have found some way for Spock to take off his shirt.