2018 PETS - Petite Sirah, Clarksburg
20 year anniversary edition
90 PTS, Wine Enthusiast, July 2021
After the success of our first vintage we decided to make a red counterpart to our Chenin Blanc and enjoyed learning the grower handle for Petite Sirah which is “PETS”. Our Clarksburg grower Ken Wilson was the first one to take a chance on us so we decided to dedicate this wine to his dog Tanker who always used to bark at us when we came to the farm. Our description of this wine was a metaphor inspired by the canine “dark colored, long legged and bold”, we feel this wine has the potential to be your best friend.
This Petite Sirah always has impressive color and this entry is no different. Dark, inky purple, plum (almost black) color. The intense aromas express blueberry and huckleberry fruit notes. The wine is refined with a rich French Oak barrel profile which is quite integrated in the mid-palate and a silky platform for the cassis spice and sappy vanilla flavors. The wine is well structured and full bodied with elegant tannins allowing the flavors and character of the variety to shine through. The finish is rich with dark chocolate, blackberry and creamy Tahitian vanillan.
The color of this massive Petite Sirah is deep plum to inky purple. The wine is concentrated with ripe blueberry and boysenberry fruit and elegantly wrapped in a silky vanilla wrapping. The entry of this dense Petite is both tannic and bold while maintaining a juicy, overripe profile displaying ample acidity to balance the tannins and fruit concentration making it multidimensional and food friendly. The finish is so supple and smooth that you will miss it when it is gone.
This is our 21st vintage of Petite Sirah from this vineyard. These grapes come from Wilson Farms, a now 4th generation farm established in 1922. While their first grapes were planted to other varietals it became understood rather quickly that the best two varietals to grow there are both Chenin Blanc and Petite Sirah. The planting we first started making wine from was 1979, but we have diversified into other blocks which allows us to make a more complex wine and achieve maximum color extraction. Part of what makes Clarksburg a special appellation is the cooling trend that comes in from the San Francisco Bay everyday at about 3:30 pm which sweeps the heat out of the valley floor and allows the grapes to maintain their natural acidity. I like to say this is a reverse cooling trend in that moderation (of heat) comes in the afternoon rather than the early mornings as it does on the coast.
This wine pairs well with Mexican Carnitas tacos (barbecued pork) spiced with cardamom and spicy chiles served with salsa fresca. It’s great with anything off the grill from Tri-tip to chops to filet mignon and for vegetarians go for an impossible burger made with grains and/or mushrooms.
87 PTS, Wine Enthusiast, March 2016
“This big, imposing wine seems like it is so packed
with flavor and tannins that it hasn’t sorted itself out
yet and needs time to come into balance. It has aromas
like clove, tar and beef broth, and thick smoky, beefy
flavors. The color is dark. Best drink this after 2018.”
86 PTS, “Recommended Rhone-Style Reds from California”, Wine Spectator, April 2017
“This red is thickly tannic, with notes of jam, spice,
pepper and tobacco, firming on the finish.”
Best Value, Santé, January 2016
“Thick and lush aromas of black currant, black cherry,
and ripe plum, with toasted vanilla and light spicy oak.
Round, and ripe on the palate, offering robust cooked
black and red fruit flavors, with toasty oak and peppery
spice. Rich, full finish. Great value.”
Gold Medal TEXSOM Int’L Wine Awards, Judges' Panel
"Silken, balanced, accessible, drinkable now, well mannered, subtle smoke tones."