As longtime readers know, one of California’s longest-lived, best value wines is Petite Sirah, which is also known as Durif. Massena’s 2005 Durif Howling Dog, cropped at a ridiculously low .7 tons of fruit per acre, and aged 18 months in old French oak, can easily compete with some of the great Petite Sirahs from Ridge or Turley Vineyards. Its inky/blue/purple hue is accompanied by scents of blueberry liqueur, crushed rocks, and acacia flowers. Full-bodied, powerful, and rich, with surprisingly supple, but extravagant levels of tannin, it is not yet ready for prime time drinking. Purchasers should forget it for 4-5 years, then watch it unfold over the next two decades.
Robert Parker – The Wine Advocate