The Grapes are from Coyote Ridge upper block Vineyard situated almost in the middle of Dry Creek Valley. Decomposed rocks and brick red Manzanita-type soils are usually very well suited for low pH Petites with deep red color and solid, age-worthy structure.
It would be easy to say that the 2020 grape harvest season was challenging, but that would be a significant understatement. Between the res, the smoke, and COVID-19 safety guidelines, stress levels were high for all winemakers throughout the West Coast. I have 20 harvests at Trentadue (30 total in California) under my belt, but this one was the most challenging vintage of my career (the previous was 2019.) The vintage started early and finished earlier than usual. The yields were low due to dry conditions causing small clusters and small berries but ultimately very concentrated wines with deep dark colors.
We handled the fruit in the gentlest way possible, hand-sorted and fermented in small open-top fermenters with minimum hand punch-downs per day. As usual, the most effort was in extracting as much of the beautiful Petite Sirah aromas without the harsh tannins. After the secondary, malolactic fermentation in barrels, the wine aged in 25% new French oak barrels for about ten months.
The wine has very distinct blue and blackberry aromas, with a hint of violets, followed by subtle aromas of vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and slight toast and smokiness. The aromas are complex and will pull you down into some primordial world of pure hedonism. The mouthfeel is solid, with a medium body and very soft and elegant (for Petite) tannins accentuating the wine’s long and juicy finish. Petite Sirahs, when balanced, are very versatile food-pairing wines with a broad range. Petite can give most Cabernets a “run for their money” in terms of longevity and pairing with grilled meats.
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