Friday, September 6, 2013

SideTrip: Foppiano Vineyards

~ Welcome to Foppiano Vineyards ~

In 1896, when Giovanni Foppiano emigrated to the United States from Genoa Italy, he headed to California in search of the gold rush.   Like many Italian immigrants whose search for gold became an unrewarding experience, Giovanni settled in Sonoma, near the town of Healdsburg and did what many Italian immigrants before him did. He made wine.  The rest as they often say, is history and thank God.
Today Foppiano is run by Paul Foppiano, the great grandson of Giovanni, and sits on 160 meticulously care for acres in the Russian River section of Sonoma Valley.  While the Russian River may be synonymous with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah has also found a home here and no one does a better job with it than Foppiano. 
I've been a ravenous fan of Foppiano Petite Sirah since the 1997 vintage was being sold for $9 per bottle and back then, I bought it by the case.  Today, the price has crept up to about $15, but if you want a full bodied, yet food friendly versatile bottle of wine, buy this one by the case too!  Yes, it's that good.
The 2009 Foppiano Petite Sirah is a beautiful blackish purple in the glass.  Super dark, as you would expect from a Petite. It's got wonderful aromas of black fruit, licorice, herbs, slight toast and shaley dust.  On the palate, the wine is full bodied, yet fresh - with an almost Italian level of acidity.  This allows the wine to pair well with a variety of foods beyond the spectacular match of grilled beef.  Flavors of black fruits, fresh savory herbs, espresso, licorice and a slight meaty component provide complexity you don't expect and won't often see in a wine that's under $20.  The balance between fruit, acids and tannins are well done and while you could easily cellar this for 8-10 years, there's no need to do so.  This is delicious right now.   Paired well with Insalata Caprese Stackers, grilled mushrooms, smoked chorizo and other various appetizers.  91 points, about $15.  Best buy!

~ 2009 Foppiano Petite Sirah ~


  1. Hi John!

    Thanks for this nice review, this one is totally new to me.. I checked it out and we have here at 25$... considering your review, I guess it is still worth trying it? Are you familiar with I capitani Jumara? Got it in NJ for 15$. Great wine and lot of complexity for the price!

    I have to say, I totally agree with your Marchese Antinori review earlier this week. This wine is a great CC riserva, but I was also disappointed by the 2008 version compared to previous vintages (for the same reasons you've mentionned). I've had at the same time the 2008 Castello di Bossi CC riserva (thanks to you), showed much better for the price.

    Thanks for your several reviews of this week, great work!!


  2. Hi Raphael,

    Hmmm, I'm not familiar with I Capitani at all. What is this?

    You know, I have one last bottle of the 1997 Tenuta Marchese that I'm going to try this fall while the 2008 is fresh in my mind. The Ser Lapo was better and cheaper too.

    Foppiano at $25 loses some of it's appeal for sure, but I'd still try one. It won't come across as the screaming bargain it is here - but it's still good wine.