“If you're nostalgic for a time when Napa Valley was planted to petite sirah; when it offered reds that were savory and spicy rather than sweet; when you could afford to buy a Napa Valley red with the kind of complex herbal notes and layered tannic detail that would juice up roast lamb; well, that time is now. Decant a bottle and think, for a moment that you're in southwest France.” - Josh Greene, October 2013
"This beautiful effort exhibits notes of raspberries, black cherry liqueur, crushed rocks, blueberries and other black fruits. At this stage it is still very much a fruit bomb, but I think the inclusion of the other varietals has toned it down and made it more approachable than a 100% Petite Sirah would be. This is a fascinating, pure, impressive wine to enjoy over the next two to three decades." - Robert Parker, October 2013
"This is a ripe, vigorous young Petite Sirah. It's strong in tannins, with just enough acidity to make the black currant, roasted meat, plum and cedar flavors bright. This needs time; give it 5–6 years, and it should glide through 2020." - Steve Heimoff, November 2013
Elegant, fresh and refined, the 2010 Napa Valley Petite Sirah opens with generous aromas of red and black fruit and distinct notes of clove spice. The lush fruit flavors of blueberry, raspberry and boysenberry remain on the palate, complemented by unbelievably soft tannins that add grace without removing any vitality. Subtle hints of vanilla and white pepper linger at the finish of this big, yet approachable Petite Sirah.
Grapes from the vineyards located on our estate’s deep, rocky soils form the backbone of this Napa Valley Petite Sirah. Carefully selected fruit from both northern and southern Napa Valley vineyards are added to intensify and broaden the wine’s profile to include floral, spice and fruit characteristics.
The 2010 growing season was long and mild with ideal temperatures for perfect ripening and full development of great aromatics and rich, soft tannins. Rainfall returned to Napa Valley after three dry years, lengthening each stage of growth -- bud break, flowering and fruit-set -- by nearly two weeks. The relatively cool growing season coupled with the unexpected heat spikes in late summer made for a shortened harvest, but the resulting lower yields of wine were concentrated, elegant and structured.
Continuing the same time-honored techniques that have made Petite Sirah one of our winery’s staples, Winemaker Christophe Paubert practiced simple and traditional methods to show the uniqueness of the Petite Sirah fruit. Avoiding over extraction, the wine went through a relatively short maceration period (9-12 days on average) that included fermentation. The wine aged for 16 months in American oak barrels (25% new), allowing the spiciness of the oak to complement the natural spice character of the varietal. The final blend included small amounts of Syrah, Grenache, Carignane and Mourvèdre to bring further complexity to the finished wine, and two of these final lots were then co-fermented with Viognier to reinforce the floral character of the variety.
Varietal Composition: 77% Petite Sirah, 12% Syrah, 6% Grenache, 2% Carignane, 2% Mourvedre, 1% Viognier