2012 Petite Sirah
Estate Walnut Wash Vineyard, Calistoga
As you would expect, our 2012 Petite Sirah is one large wine. The color is nearly black, an indicator of the underlying depth and concentration. The nose is dark and ripe with tons of earth, spice and cracked black peppercorns. The tannins are substantial, but cleverly camouflaged by the rich, opulent texture and flavors. While it is powerful, there is still a sense of elegance to this wine.
The 2012 season was dryer than the previous two years. The last notable rain occurred in April and no frost after bud break was recorded. The set was excellent ensuring an abundant crop of healthy grapes – a welcome turn after the extremely low yields of 2011. Some thinning around veraison encouraged better vine balance. The summer was warm and even with no major heat spikes. Cool mornings and evenings towards the end of the growing season ensured full ripeness and firm acid levels. The fruit was harvested on October 26.
The grapes were gently de-stemmed, cold macerated and fermented in a one-ton bin. They were punched down over the course of fermentation to extract as much fruit as possible. The wine was then pressed into barrels for malolactic fermentation and aged 26 months in French oak.