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“Lots of ripe plums and blueberries, together with smoked meat, licorice and dried flowers. Dark chocolate and wet forest floor, too. Tight and meaty with a dense, chewy tannin structure. Full-bodied, ripe and fruit-driven. Long, savory finish. Try now, but better after a year or two.” - James Suckling, February 2022
The 2018 Petite Sirah exudes strong notes of blackberry, blueberry and black cherry fruits interwoven with more savory notes of black pepper and cocoa power. On the palate, juicy flavors of creamy cassis, macerated blackberry, cherry kirsch, black licorice, and peppery plum envelope the rich, saturated mouthfeel. This wine is smooth and silky with velvety tannins and a generous lengthy finish, encouraging you to enjoy it now, but has the depth and complexity to age for many years to come.
The Napa Valley region enjoyed a stunning, near picture-perfect 2018 growing season including good winter rains, mild spring weather and steady temperatures throughout that allowed for even flowering and bud break. These ideal growing conditions were followed by a cool, even and slow-paced harvest which allowed the winery to vinify wines at a gentle pace. The resulting 2018 wines are of very high quality with lower alcohol, concentrated flavors, color and excellent acidity.
Grapes from the vineyards located on our estate’s deep, rocky soils make up 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, Oak Knoll and Coombsville, as well as our own Stags Leap District 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.
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 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 and other mixed Rhone varietals to bring further complexity to the finished wine.
For Christophe Paubert, Winemaker and General Manager at Stags’ Leap Winery, the identity of a wine is found through the terroir. Christophe’s career has spanned the industry from sales to winemaking, and his impressive background includes positions at Chateau d’Yquem and Gruaud-Larose as well as projects in Chile, Spain and Washington State. But it was the terroir of Stags’ Leap that drew him to California.