DISCLAIMER/ADMISSION: I am a VERY short term fine wine enjoyer. To demonstrate that fact, I must sheepishly admit that the '98 Foppiano Petite Sirah is not only the first bottle of wine that I ever paid $20 or more for (I paid $20 for the 1 bottle/customer allocation that was allowed in June 2001 at the Foppiano tasting room in Healdsburg), it was also the first wine that I ever bought a case or more of ... when I found it marked (mistakenly ??) at $13.99 here in Memphis. So, I cleaned out the shelves and started my fine wine addiction. (This was the same wine shop that had '94 Ridge Montebello marked at $100, but I talked them down to $80/ . I've still got those, looking for the 'right moment' to open them ...)
So, in deference to andreasx' request, I decided to open one of my few remaining '98's along with the TAA '99. Here's what I found:
'99 Foppiano Petite Sirah (13.5%, natural cork showing signs of advancing leakage, but apparently not making it all the way out). $19 before tax and case discount.
Reddish-purple in color, with a moderate dark fruit (leaning towards plum), black pepper, and alcohol on the nose. Relatively long and opaque legs that showed even more strongly when brought outside under the patio fan (for the folks back home: we people Down South tend to have ceiling fans built into our patios because even the summer NIGHTS are too freakin' hot down here!)
Finish started somewhat astringent and tannic, with a moderate duration turning to mild dark fruit.
'98 Foppiano Petite Sirah (13.0%, composite cork showing no signs of leakage). $14 before tax and case discount.
A clear red almost indistinguishable from the '99 in the glass while looking up through the glass, but appearing more brick-red diagonally from the sides (while the '99 appeared more purple from the diagonal sides. It's tough to describe, but trust me ... the '98 was redder, the '99 more purple).
The nose was of moderate dark fruits, particularly blackberry (as opposed to plum in the '99), and showed limited EtOH (probably because of the 13.9%, vs the 13.5% in the '99).
The dark fruit flavor was refined and smooth, more like a Cab than a Zin. The legs were of medium length and clear, which was exacerbated in scale but consistent in quality when brought out under the patio fan.
Both wines were enjoyed with a sirloin grilled with terragon butter and Foppiano-ed mushrooms. Oh, and there were some side dishes, but who cares when you are faced with a pound of sirloin and two open bottles of wine?!?
I believe Lady Stemor also had some of the wine, but I can't be sure how much ...
Net result of the tasting was this: the '99, subject of our TAA, was somewhat less in quality than the highly regarded '98. If the '98 was a 91 pointer as graded by WS, then the '99 is an 87-88.
We both enjoyed each bottle and, since the '98's are worked out of the distrubution channels (but not out of my "cellar"!), we will continue to buy the '99 Foppiano as a good QPR wine that goes well with our tastes.
(edited ONLY for style, addition of local retail prices and "disclaimer/admission" heading at the beginning) [ 05-19-2002, 11:14 PM: Message edited by: stemor ]