Producers of Petite Sirah need to take note: there's a young gun out there who's going to show you some new moves! Winemaker Aaron Jackson is one amazing guy! He fully commits to whatever the task at hand is. So being the hardcore surfer that he is, you can imagine how dedicated to winemaking Aaron must be when he has to leave those firing Central Coast point breaks to head for the vineyards! His wines have been staples at our store for years, and it's amazing how he can make Petite Sirah taste so good, keep it complex yet easy to drink, and sell such a tasty wine for a reasonable price!
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "(raised for 22 months in large French oak barrels, 55% of them new) Bright purple. Smoke-tinged cherry and blueberry compote aromas show excellent clarity, and a mocha element sneaks in as the wine stretches out. Sweet and pliant in the mouth, offering densely packed yet lively red and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors and a hint of five-spice powder. Shows impressive energy on the broad, chewy finish, which is firmed by building tannins and sharpened by a late jolt of juicy acidity."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The inky colored 2015 Petite Sirah offers classic sweet black and plum fruits as well as some smoky, barbecue notes in its full-bodied, layered, powerful style. With 12% Syrah in the blend and brought up in 55% new barrels, it stays beautifully balanced and is a joy to drink."
Bob Tillman searched for several years for the site where he could plant a truly world-class vineyard. After the family moved to the Central Coast of California and tasted the wines coming out of Paso Robles, they knew they found the right region! In 2003, Bob found this beautiful hilltop property on Adelaida Road that would become Alta Colina. All the grapes on this property are organically farmed, and the fruit is so amazing that other Central Coast producers such as McPrice Myers, Sans Liege, and Paydirt get fruit from Alta Colina.
Four distinctive varietals (Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot), this "mysterious apparition" of ripe berry and relentless spice, returns to haunt wine lovers. Full of concentration and intensity, this wine will tease, tantalize and linger long after the last sip is gone. Wild berries and black pepper are framed by the influence of oak aging with baking spices and a hint of toasty vanilla.
We feel that Bogle has one of the most solid wine portfolios in the business, and they prove that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! The Bogle family has been farming since the mid 1800’s and their reputation has continued to grow. The fact that they want to sell wines that people can actually afford doesn’t hurt, either. Those seeking a quality wine for little money should look no further, as this Petite Sirah is one of our everyday favorites! Sourced from vineyards in Clarksburg and Lodi, this wine has a nose of luscious boysenberry that teases you with touches of black pepper and herbs. Trademark inky and jammy tones fill the mouth with ripe fruit and berries and a voluptuous finish that lingers with toasty oak and lush fruit.
When the Wagner family started Caymus Vineyards 45 years ago, their little town of Rutherford - the center point of the Napa Valley - was a very different place than it is today. People were just beginning to plant grapes instead of more traditional crops like prunes, walnuts and grains. The Valley had no famed restaurants luring people to visit, and traffic on the roads was light. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. With all its natural gifts - from its climate to its farm land to its quiet beauty - "Napa" was still largely undiscovered and felt full of possibility.
That same look and feel back in 1972 exists today in a place that is only a 40-minute drive from Rutherford. Suisun (su-soon) Valley lies to the southeast, separated from its more famous neighbor only by a county line. It, too, has a maritime climate, with warm days and cool nights, due to its proximity to the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. About one and a half times the size of the Rutherford AVA, the Suisun AVA has rich soils and historically is known for growing stone fruit. The domain is also ideally suited to growing certain varieties of grapes. The Wagner Family searched high and low for vineyards growing grapes on a level worthy of bearing the Caymus name.
The Wagner family began an in-depth search of "the Suisun" in early 2014 and identified a few top-quality Durif vineyards in the hidden corners of this small picturesque place (Durif is synonymous with Petite Sirah). As they set their sights on producing a Caymus-style wine from one of the world's heavyweight varieties, they made a promise to themselves that the new wine bearing the Caymus name would have to be great - or, it would not be bottled. We are pleased to announce that this wine has made the grade!
Caymus-Suisun Grand Durif features a deep, majestic purple, with a nose of blueberries, wet earth and saddle leather. The initial impression on the palate is broad, smooth and weight, then springs into gear with rich and harmonious tannins. The key notes of this wine are the lush textural tannins that push the limits on arrogance yet also display friendly supple qualities. It's truly difficult to explain its singular style - firm structure yet super-abundant fine textural softness. Oak plays a significant roll in providing a vanilla character. This wine can be enjoyed now, though it is still quite a baby.
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Dark and plush, this combines structure with polish, offering notes of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, grilled herb and toasty spice that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chronology Red is a blend of 30% Petite Sirah, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Grenache, 12% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, 5% Mission, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec and 1% Merlot aged in 14% new French and American oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has intense scents of cassis, warm plums, black cherries and violets with hints of black pepper and tilled earth. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it has a refreshing line and long earth-laced finish. 2,509 cases produced."
A blend of 64% Petite Sirah, 23% Syrah, 10% Zinfandel, 2% Lagrein, and 1% Tannat, the 2017 Pessimist has a powerful and intensely aromatic nose that ascends to greet you with blueberry, boysenberry and black plum fragrance. Evolving layers reveal elderberry and truffle, with cocoa and cardamom spice accents, further augmented by hints of eucalyptus, leather, cherry pipe tobacco and grilled meats. Broad and expansive on the palate, bestowing lush and generous flavors of black cherry, blueberry, creme de cassis and damp forest floor. Notes of lavender, anise and black olives complement the rich fruit. Massive in weight yet elegantly structured, this wine is a powerhouse that reveals itself in controlled stages .
The 2016 Earthquake Petite Sirah offers the varietal's typical full-bodied tannins, but the fruit is so opulent that its tannins are a very small part of its story. A whiff of violet lures you in, but then it's all dark chocolate and summer blackberry in the mouth. Tooth-staining, yes, but this is no Zinfandel on steroids. More elegant than previous vintages, it's down right pretty.
Known as the winemaker's grape for its bountiful color, flavor and tannin, Guenoc crafts this Petite Sirah with precision. Made correctly, "Pets" becomes the benchmark for big, hedonistic wines; blueberry flavors wrapped in silky tannins… not your father’s Petite Sirah!
Winemaker's Tasting Notes: "An inviting bouquet of lightly toasted pastry frames the dark fruit characters of blackberry and olallieberry on the palate. Our gentle approach to winemaking delivers a rich and dense tannin structure that doesn't disappoint."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "No one could mistake the 2016 Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard from Jaffurs for anything but a Petite Sirah, but it's also remarkably elegant, wafting from the glass with aromas of plum preserve, tar, inky black fruits and licorice. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and velvety, with good concentration and sappy fruit, deep and richly tannic without ever becoming overbearing."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The team at Jaffurs always makes a rocking Petite Sirah and the 2016 Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard is no exception. Black fruits, charcoal, camphor, and graphite notes all emerge from this big, opulent, balanced red that has sweet tannin, tons of fruit and a great finish. It's a perfect steak house wine and should keep for 7-8 years, probably longer."
Seriously…why can't more producers make wine this good…and at this price?!?!?! Aaron Jackson grew up in the Paso Robles region, and he's been making wine since he was a teenager (literally!). That being said, he's found many vineyards that are so secluded that other producers don't even know where those vineyards are!
Aaron's second label wine, KEOLA is comprised of barrels and lots from the same vineyards that make up his top-tier AARON wines. These barrels are declassified lots or extra barrels that don't find their way into our top cuvees, and thus make their way into KEOLA and are presented an awesome wine for everyday drinking.
Each of the vineyard lots were hand picked and sorted three times prior to processing into small open top fermentors. Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Grenache were 100% destemmed, while the Graciano was fermented wtih 50% whole clusters. The fruit was chilled to 48F and cold-soaked for 4-8 days, until a spontaneous native fermentation began. Fermentations are kept cool to help retain aromatics in the finished wines. Delastage was performed for the first 7 days, followed by hand punchdowns twice per day over the course of another 3 weeks, totaling 35-40 days of skin contact. Unfined and unfiltered, with only small amounts of sulfites added.
From the man who brought you Prisoner, Papillon, Abstract, and Mercury Head, Dave Phinney brings us a new project that offers immense value! If you blended Cabernet Sauvignon into a Rioja, or Nero d'Avola into Barolo, or Petite Sirah in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, you cannot call those wines by the region (meaning, it's no longer a Chateauneuf-du-Pape). Therefore, Dave has named these wines "Locations" so that you simply know from which country the grapes are sourced.
California is a country unto itself, and fittingly, an appropriate addition to the Locations family. A blend of Petite Sirah, Barbera, Tempranillo, Syrah, and Grenache aged for 10 months, the wine is veiled in dark ruby red, the wine bursts with a tempting perfume of red and black fruits, dried rose petals, and a peppery note which offers some lift. Dense and ripe upon first pass, it evolves into a savory compote of raspberry, kirsch, and bitter cherry balanced out with mineral and herbal notes. The finish is substantial with tangy acidity, yet buffered with polished tannins that please the palate.
The Mount Peak story begins more than a century ago at the celebrated Monte Rosso Vineyard (one of the truly great vineyards in Sonoma County) and culminates with the revival of Mount Peak Winery, a vistige of one of California's ghost wineries. These wines are inspired by this great place, and the new owners pay tribute to the extraordinary winery that once stood there by capturing its enduring spirit in the wine.
The Gravity blend is named for a remote, hart-to-reach Petite Sirah block on a lower slope of the Monte Rosso Vineyard. Its location on the edge of a canyon and its steepness produces grapes with exceptional intensity. Six varieties - Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grenache - create a vivid expression of the power and depth. This dark, dense wine is layered with stunning flavors ranging from boysenberry and bluebery jam to blackberry and fig. The dark berry and fig flavors pull together with accents of black truffle and dusty cocoa that create a full-bodied mouthfeel framed by assertive tannins and a long, concentraged finish.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Mainly Petite Sirah blended with Sangiovese, the 2015 Proprietary Red Blend Gravity is deep garnet-purple colored with profound crushed black and red currants notes over chocolate box, beef drippings and scorched earth with touches of dried herbs and truffles. Medium to full-bodied, it's very firm and chewy with lovely lift and a long, earthy finish. 6,750 cases produced."
Petite Sirah is a revered grape varietal at Orin Swift. Since 2000, it has been made and utilized primarily as a blending component due to scarcity. Unlike its celebrated relative Syrah, Petite Sirah can be a challenge to source. Yet, it has always been an objective to showcase the varietal in a dynamic blend and a pursuit was launched to find some prized petite vineyards. The realization of this goal came in 2009 with the first release of Machete. Spurred by a favorable reaction, Orin Swift continued their hunt to include additional blocks in an effort to make the wine even better. Prominent regions throughout Northern California comprise this matrix, which provides for added layers of depth and structure. The results of which is a wine with attitude to complement the twelve individual labels.
A blend of Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Syrah, violet ink in the glass, a nose of black plums, cassis, and cacao engage. The robust entry consists of a progressing palate of blackberry and boysenberry compote, a reduction of dark plum and ripe figs, and pure Amarena cherry. Flashes of vanilla and traces of minerality evolve into chalky tannins and a smooth lingering finish.
Petite Sirah was the most commonly planted grape in Napa Valley for nearly a century and now we are witnessing a resurgence and new appreciation for this historic hero variety! The 2016 Royal Punishers has a healthy deep, dark blue/black color profile. Aromas of plum, quince, violets, figs, molasses, graphite and marbled rye awaken the nose. The entry is viscous and weighty, then builds into a broad mid palate structure which has layers of ripe, black fruit flavors. The oak profile is balanced and the tannins are mouthwatering and medium grained which hold the fruit profile and carry a long, lingering finish.
Spellbound Petite Sirah has an intense color and generous bouquet of rich blackberries and blueberries, vanilla bean and roasted coffee, all in a remarkably approachable glass. The wine is crafted to unleash dark and luscious characteristics, while managing tannins to deliver an opulent and juicy Petite Sirah.
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2016 Petite Sirah is made up of 79% Petite Sirah, 8% mixed Rhône varieties, 7% Grenache and 6% Syrah, aged for 12 months in 25% new American oak. Very deep purple-black in color, it opens with notes of freshly crushed black cherries and black berries with touches of plum preserves, baking spices and tar. The palate is medium to full-bodied, very firm and grainy with a lively line to lift the peppery black fruit to a long finish."
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.
Switchback Ridge Wines are sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson family since 1914 and encompasses nearly 100 acres located at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. For over 75 years the property was primarily maintained as a farm and plum orchard, with vines intermingled amongst the trees. In 1990, the orchards were replanted to vineyard, where there are currently 18 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah vines, in addition to a three acre 50+ year old Petite Sirah block that John Peterson helped plant as a child.
The wines are made by the ever-talented Bob Foley, who makes his own wines under the winery name Robert Foley, as well as the wines at Hourglass. He also made the wines at Pride Mountain for 15 years.
Located in the Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley, next to wineries such as Quintessa, proprietors Timm and Sharon Crull grow some of the best grapes in the valley. Those grapes are so fantastic that most of them have gone to blue chip names such as Duckhorn, Nickel & Nickel, and Beringer! They do keep a bit for themselves and what they make is gorgeous!
The 2016 Petite Sirah is proving to be as complex as it is rich, offering everything one loves about this varietal. The inky hue invites you into the glass with aromas of ripe blackberry, blueberry and savory bacon with a touch of baking spice and maple. The palate features rich black cherry, blackberry and red plum complimented by dark chocolate with hints of espresso and spice. This full bodied wine is highlighted by balanced mouth-coating tannin, and bright acidity with a finish that lingers. Drink now or cellar for 8-12 years.