Petite Sirah Rutherford Napa Valley


The inky, impressively structured Petite Sirah grape often conjures up images of massive, monolithic wines with more tannin than complexity. However, when given a gentler extraction regime and picked at a level of ripeness that preserves the grape’s natural acidity, the resulting wine can exhibit a perfumed complexity that complements the variety’s full-bodied character. Inclusion of whole clusters emphasizes the citrus peel and violet-floral aromas that I love about this heritage variety, with red-and-blue summer fruits giving a sense of rich generosity to the wine.

The Leeds family has farmed their ranch in Rutherford since 1926, and the vineyard has a history of being planted to Petite Sirah that dates back to the 1880s. Immaculately maintained by vineyard owner Frank Leeds and his daughter Lauren Pesch, the block is both dry-farmed and certified organic.

Hand-harvested on August 28th, 2015. 25% of the grapes were destemmed , with 75% of the harvest going in whole-cluster. Fermentation with native yeasts lasted just a week, though temperatures were moderate, with daily foot-stompings giving way to gentle mixings as the wine went dry. Aged in a single 3-year-old puncheon for 30 months.

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