“This wine's dark plum flavor is completely dry, with savory herb notes in the background. It's reduced when first poured, needing hours in a decanter or several years in the cellar to come around. With air, the juiciness of the fruit comes to the fore, a sleek Napa red with rich balsamic notes and earthy, plum-skin tannins. Age it to serve with slow-braised short ribs.” - Josh Greene, October 2014
"There are small percentages of Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, Mourvèdre and Viognier in this Petite. Combined, they add to a greater whole of inky, coffee-mocha flavor around soft, restrained tannins. Blackberry and blueberry fruit also figure prominently, as good as your grandmother's pies." - Virginie Boone, October 2014
The cooler 2011 vintage yielded an elegant Petite Sirah, scented with the varietal’s signature trio of black fruit, floral and spicy characteristics. Fresh, juicy flavors of blackberry and blueberry are complemented by generous spice notes of clove and pepper with a subtle hint of rose petal. Refined and supple tannins balance the wine’s powerful palate, keeping this Petite Sirah particularly graceful.
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 vineyards in Calistoga and St. Helena and southern vineyards in Oakville and Oak Knoll are added to intensify and broaden the wine’s profile to include floral, spice and fruit characteristics. Petite Sirah is a varietal that is enhanced by the deliberate diversity of our vineyard sites.
The 2011 growing season began with a wet winter and spring that delayed bloom and disrupted fruit set, resulting in lower yields in many parts of Napa Valley. Cooler-than-usual temperatures continued throughout the summer season and few high heat events occurred at any point in 2011. While yields were lower, the resulting Petite Sirah grapes picked for the Napa Valley blend remained unaffected by the cooler vintage and ultimately delivered quality consistent with year’s past.
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 12-14 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