This is a sister to the first wine: a blend of Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, in the old field-blend regime honored by the wines of Ridge. The fruit is from Lisa and Cliff's home ranch, but from a different pick, and a different fermentation, than the House of Asterion. I brought a barrel sample of this wine with me on a recent trip to New York, because I needed guidance in how to think about it. The wine showed none of the imposing severity of the House of Asterion; instead, it was utterly seductive, inviting, flattering. This is the influence of the Zinfandel, but wedded to the severe Petite. The result is seductive, but not easy: Marlena Dietrich in Touch of Evil.
The name comes from the experience of showing the wine to my friends: they were all knocked out by its irresistible charms; one pointed to its nearly carnal pleasure against a background of structure and power. The experience immediately made me think of one of my favorite poems, Peter Quince at the Clavier, by Wallace Stevens. I will let you read it, and point only to this: Stevens is a poet sometimes disfavored for his cold metaphysicality. This poem is warm and musical, but not without a sense of difficulty.
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