2015 Petite Sirah
93 Points - JamesSuckling.com
“A juicy and rich red with blackberry, blueberry and mint. Full body, chewy tannins and a fresh finish. A vivid petite sirah. Drink now.” - James Suckling, December 21, 2017
Deep and saturated with a core of blueberries, black plum, black cherry, lavender and pepper spice, this wine displays an extraordinary elegance and finesse for which our Petite Sirahs are known. The generous black plum and black cherry flavors are prominent on the palate, yet backed up with delicate cinnamon, clove and cedar spice notes from the oak ageing. There is also a freshness and vibrancy that makes it very inviting with restrained 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.
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 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.
After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage resulted in a less abundant crop, but the quality remained exceptional. The mild, dry spring conditions promoted an early bud-break and minimal heat during summer allowed the fruit to ripen at a steady pace through picking, which began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with outstanding concentration and flavor, making the overall season ideal for producing a Petite Sirah of wonderful quality.
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, and two of these lots were co-fermented with Viognier to reinforce the floral character of the Petite Sirah. The wine aged for 12 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.