Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Blend: 100 % Petite Sirah
Barrel aging: 18 months in French and Balkan oak barrels
Production: 196 cases
I made my first Petite Sirah 19 years ago and I’m still in love with the grape. Petite is truly an American variety-powerful, bold and unrestrained in its capability, and yet it needs a gentle winemaking approach to unveil its true identity.
Vineyard: Dry Creek Valley has a long established reputation for growing outstanding Zin and Petite Sirah. The grapes are from two distinctly different vineyard-one on the valley floor a few feet from Dry Creek and the other from a beautiful hill side vineyard surrounded by towering Redwoods. Soil: The valley floor is comprised of predominantly deep gravelly-sandy and Cortina type soils (fertile) whereas the hill side is made of mostly low fertility, brick red clay (Manzanita) type soil. Both type soils produce wines with relatively low pH and firm structure. The Vintage: 2007 is shaping up as one of the best so far in the decade. The weather was nearly perfect without the excessive heat allowing the grapes to “hang” on the vines and mature without any stress. The fruit set was very well balanced as well matching the vines potential to perfectly ripen the fruit.
Winemaking: The grapes were harvested early on the morning of October 8th, 2007 withaverage of 25 Brix and total of 3 tons. The fruit was hand sorted and destemmed only for whole berry fermentation in small open top tanks by gently punching down the cap by hand. Three specific strains of yeast were used to compliment the character of Petite Sirah. Post fermentation the must was pressed directly without the use of pumps for gentle extraction and only the free run wine was collected. The mallolactic fermentation was completed in 40% new European oak barrels. The wines were aged for 17 months before bottling.
The quickest way to describe this wine is “dark and delicious”! Loads of blackberry, blueberry and dark cherries are enveloped in toasty oak aromas of cocoa powder, vanilla and a touch of graphite. On the mouth the wine is big, rich and extracted but with remarkably civilized tannins for this variety.