This Petite Sirah comes from Byecroft Road Vineyard, a sunny ridge top vineyard in Pleasant Valley, El Dorado AVA. In 2016 we were five years into our drought and harvest was wrapping up when the Petite Sirah finally was ready to harvest.
I noted the grape skins seemed flacid and the bin weights were light. I was concerned at first expecting high Brix levels and knowing the press yields would be light as well. After a couple days cold soaking on the skins I was surprised to find the Brix was a perfect 25 degrees Brix and whoa, what amazingly intense color!
Understanding the difficulties in crafting Petite Sirah as a varietal, I constructed a winemaking protocol to maximize the varietal characteristics while minimizing harshness and bitter tannins. These fully mature grapes had the advantage of lower "green" or harsh tannins. The wine was cold soaked on the skins for three days before fermentation and fermented cool. The wine was given extended barrel aging in 100% French oak for 30 months to ensure soft, yet firm wine tannins. This wine was bottled without filtration.
The inky completely opaque dark purple color of this wine, the color of Huckleberry juice, is so dense it literally clings to the glass after you swirl it. This wine has an intensely concentrated nose redolent of wild blueberries, huckleberries, cherry and plums. Fruit aromas are complemented by notes of toasty oak, cocoa, vanilla, cola berry, black pepper and baking spices. On the palate, bright juicy berries, with hints of pie crust vanilla and white pepper. The acidity in the long pleasant finish balances the tannins with lingering fruit.