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2011 Petite Sirah
Tasting Notes

2011 Petite Sirah

“Why is it called Petite Sirah when it’s such a BIG wine?” The “petite” refers to the size of the berries, which are small with a high skin-to-juice ratio. This gives the wine its dark, inky pigmentation and high tannin levels. “Are Petite Sirah and Syrah related?” No. Not at all. Entirely different varieties. “Tell me something else I don’t know about Petite Sirah…” It is also known as Durif and was named after a French botanist in 1880. Oh and one more thing: we heart Petite Sirah because it is ridiculously delectable in the most dramatic, honest, teeth-staining way. It dances along the edge of muscular vs. elegant in a way that no other varietal does. It is, in a word, awesome. Speaking of awesome, our 2011 Petite Sirah is full-bodied yet supple, with dark fruit flavors of black currant and black raspberry. Although the tannin structure is robust, the luscious mouthfeel is soft and round, and the finish unfolds with graceful notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.
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/ Case of 12
The grapes for our Petite Sirah are grown on our Hames Valley Vineyard. Hames Valley, for some magical reason, is one of the most perfect places on earth to grow top quality Petite Sirah. It is located in southern Monterey County, about 20 miles south of King City, and presents ideal conditions for growing intense, jammy Petites that will bowl you over. The climate of Hames is characterized by a high day-to-night temperature differential, with a variation of up to 50° quite common. Daytime highs are similar to the Paso Robles growing region but, as the sun goes down, temperatures drop significantly. The long, warm days are a must for top-notch Petite, while the dramatic nighttime cooling helps to preserve the balance of the fruit and maintain acidity.
The grapes were handpicked into half-ton bins, destemmed and crushed into small fermentation bins. The small berries of Petite Sirah create a high skin-to-juice ratio and some of the highest tannin levels compared to other red varieties. If mishandled, they can produce overly tannic wines. The flip side is a bold, concentrated wine that continues to age well in the cellar. The name of the game is gentle handling all the way. During fermentation, we gently punched down the cap two to three times per day for approximately two weeks. The juice was racked clean to small oak barrels for secondary fermentation and aged for 20 months before bottling unfiltered, to retain the aroma and rich tannin structure.
97% Hames Valley Vineyard, 2% San Lucas Vineyard, 1% Mesa del Rio Vineyard
Harvest Date
October 9 - October 19
Harvest Brix
Alcohol %
20 months in 100% oak, a combination of 88% Hungarian and 12% French
Cases Produced
Bottling Date
August 6, 2013