2016 “Eleven Rows” Petite Sirah
Our 2016 is a balanced rendition of this powerful variety: dark and inky with aromas of red cherries, roses and pine forest. The entry is broad and tannic with notable structure. Emerging flavors of blackberry, dried blackcurrant, blueberry compote, Baker’s chocolate give way to a long, smooth finish. A collector’s wine.
Obsidian Ridge Vineyard is planted at 2,640' atop the Mayacamas range north of the Napa Valley. This is one of the newest American Viticultural Areas, named Red Hills Lake County for the distinctive volcanic soils that define this remarkable mountain appellation. The vineyard’s red soils are shot through with obsidian rock—this steep, sloping terroir of obsidian gravel is all that a winemaker could hope for. The unrestricted drainage and meager soil fertility produce wines with great tannic structure.
The grip of California’s four-year drought began to loosen in 2016 with a wet spring. Late season rains graced the beginning of the springtime growing season, replenishing the soil and giving the awakening vines critical nourishment. With less dehydration stress, the vines had a healthy canopy and well-balanced fruit load, with fuller grape clusters and slightly larger berries. Vine health and vigor in 2016 made for a smooth growing season and harvest, resulting in more voluptuous wines, approachable in their youth but rewarding patience.
Our tiny parcel of 11 rows of Petite Sirah was harvested from the top of our western slopes and vinified in a small tank. Since young Petite Sirah extracts color quickly, we kept the wine on skins for only a short amount of time. We then pressed the young wine and placed it into our signature Kádár barrels. We used just 25% new barrels to add a hint of spice to this already intense and complex wine.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker