2012 Coquerel Petite Sirah, Napa Valley
The 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.
Vintage and Winemaking
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.
Winery: Coquerel Wines
Owners: Clay and Brenda Cockerell
Location: Calistoga, CA
Coquerel Family Wine Estates is located just beyond the town of Calistoga at the north end of the Napa Valley. The heart and soul of our winery is our estate “Walnut Wash” vineyard, a gorgeous, oak-studded property that sits in the afternoon shadows of the Mayacamas Mountains. Since 2005, we have done extensive enhancement and replanting of the site to ensure world-class fruit from vintage to vintage. The combination of warm temperatures and deep, clay/stone soils makes this ideal terroir for Sauvignon Blanc, our flagship variety. It also produces exceptional Verdelho, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah. In addition to our estate fruit, we source Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and other noble grapes from a handful of like-minded, premier growers throughout the Napa Valley.
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@vaaccess Hi, I am the National Sales Manager for Coquerel Wines and would be happy to answer your question. This wine has the age ability like a Cabernet. It is very drinkable now and decanting it for an hour is great for this wine. This wine can also cellar for easily another 5 to 7 years. I hope this helps!
I might have had this in 2015. The Cockerell family are Dallas natives so they did some tastings here. I recall the SB (the reserve in French oak) was crazy good. Like Blanc de Lynch Bages good. My other favorite was this PS. As I recall dense extracted fruit, good oak influence, if perhaps a tad pricey. Problem solved by Casemates!
@johnnelson7333 Hi, yes, the owners live full time in Dallas and like to host wine dinners in the area. Thank you for your nice feedback on our wines! Our Winemaker is from Bordeaux and produces amazing wines all small handcrafted lots and are all very well priced. Cheers and I hope you enjoy!
I was so thrilled to be a labrat for this wine! I invited another couple over to sample with us, we did it more during cocktail hour than dinner so no food, but I do think this would go better with a meal. I think it would go great with a steak off the bbq with maybe some blue cheese? Anyway - on to our tasting. I did open up about an hour prior to tasting. And remember, a professional taster I am not - my notes will more typical be a smiley face or a frown face. This one definitely got a smiley face.
This wine is very dark in the glass, even held up to the light you aren’t going to see anything thru it. Peppery/spicy nose, mixed with a little espresso perhaps. First taste someone commented its very nice. This wine has very chewy Tannins and you can definitely taste the black pepper. There’s a little bit of fruit in there, maybe blackberry, but less fruit than I’d expected. We all agreed it was very dry, almost tongue dryingly so, but thats not a bad thing. We thought the tannins were a little harsh, but that it is young and will probably age well. They also may have mellowed more if we had let it breathe a little longer or run it thru an aerator. Once person said it reminded him of a Coates De Rhone, but much bigger.
We liked it - a lot. Not knowing what the price point was going to be we agreed it would be a very great value anywhere in the mid $20’s, which is where it is priced. I’m still organizing my cellar and am trying to see if I can make some room for this one, we’ve been buying much faster than drinking, and tend more towards white and rose’s in the summertime. But like I said this one would be a good value to hold on to as well. Definitely drink one now too, and pair it with something with bold flavors. While very good now I only see this one improving with some age.
@jenludwig Hi, thank you for all your great feedback, we love hearing these stories. This wine is definitely a food wine and great with any red meat, something slow cooked or from a smoker as well. It has intense structure and rich flavors that match up to something with a little richness in the food. I hope you can find some room for our wine your cellar! Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!
@rlmanzo Hi, I am happy to answer any questions you have about our wine. This wine is gorgeous in structure, very intense flavors and will age very well. In my opinion easily another 5 to 7 years. If you decide to purchase this offering and want to open the wine immediately I would suggest decanting the wine for an hour to let it breath. This wine will pair very well with red meat, pulled pork, anything off the smoker. Let me know if you have any other questions?
@rlmanzo Hi, my pleasure, happy to answer any questions on this communication board! This vintage is 2012 so already has had about 6 years in bottle and is still drinking with a lot of structure. It is drinkable now but I would highly suggest decanting the wine for a good hour before enjoying. I also think this wine has the ability to age like many Cabernet’s out there. I opened one of our 2010 Petite Sirah’s not to long ago and it was absolutely delicious and still had plenty of time to continue aging. Our Petite Sirah will do very well in a cellar however we have only been making wine since 2006 so I can’t speak specifically of our PS if will go for 20+ years. Hope this feedback helps!
Another late to the game labrat reporting in… I didn’t have a chance the opportunity to enjoy this over the weekend, but @ChefJess was able to make some time in her afternoon today for an impromptu tasting, so here we go!
Immediately upon opening the first thing we noticed was the near black color of staining to the cork, and a hearty fragrance of alcohol on the nose. The wine had a lovely deep color, as one would expect from a Petite Sirah. Rather than wait around for the bottle to decant properly and really breathe, we of course had to pour and sample the wine right away.
@ChefJess reports in: color is deep dark cherry (she just bought some!) Legs dissipate quickly and the first sip of this wine sucked all of the moisture out of my mouth. It’s like a desert.
30-45 minutes in, and the wine’s personality is starting to show through. It’s definitely been confined to the bottle and needed time and space to stretch. Both rats report that the powerful alcohol on the front end has quite relaxed. Great aroma of black pepper and just bit of fruit. Is that blackberry? A touch of wood too. The dryness is still present as well, but in a way that showcases the tannins without leaving your mouth feel like the Sahara. The color is especially inky, with a viscous mouthfeel- a true representation of a full bodied red.
60 minutes later and I still haven’t had lunch yet, so it’s time to think about how this pairs with food. Let’s go with pizza: mozzarella, Italian sausage, mushrooms, Canadian bacon and black olives. Make sure to order it with the marinara sauce; the pizza sauce is too sweet. Meanwhile, @ChefJess is concerned that she’s swirling wrong. Everyone else got nice legs on the glass! Oh wait, there are some! Crisis averted for now. The wine has a pleasant if faint aroma still lingering.
90 minutes- where’s that pizza? This is a wine to have alongside a meal. Black olives are determined to be the real linchpin in making the wine stand out for flavor, but the Italian sausage is a great complement as well. Something about the fattiness/saltiness of the food makes it seem like a completely different wine from imbibing without a pairing. Pretty good matchup.
120-150 minutes. There’s just enough wine left to save for tomorrow and see how it continues to open up overnight. I can’t speak much to how long a wine like this will continue to develop, but I would wager it could hold out for several years if you have that kind of patience.
Without looking at casemates.com, I guessed this to retail on offer of $25. @ChefJess cheated and dug into the information ahead of time. I think this is very fairly valued for the quality, but I haven’t jumped to buy yet. I’ve got limited space in the cellar right now, and I want to see how it finishes tomorrow. If anyone else in the St. Louis area is looking, I might be convinced for a split.
@Aureliano reporting back if anyone is still considering in the final hours; excellent the next day! Giving it just about 24 hours to breathe has really allowed it to mellow without losing any dryness one would expect out of a Petite Sirah. I’m not picking up any different flavors than yesterday, but they’re really cooperating together well.
In the past there have been discussions regarding a ‘dumb’ or sleepy phase w/r/t PS. Good out of the bottle for a few years if you like them young and fresh, then dumb for a handful or more number of years, then emerging later quite transformed.
Any comments on that in general and where you see this bottling at this point?
@rjquillin Hi, yes some wines go through this phase but often times I feel wines do this dependent on the vintage. For example 2011 was a cool climate year here in Napa and at first a lot of big reds were closed off and restrained but I have been opening some 2011’s now and they have really come around and personally I think could age a bit longer. The 2012 PS was delicious when it was first released but again has such a big structure so depending on how you prefer to drink your Petite Sirah’s you may want to lay them down to allow the tannin structure and acid in the wine to mellow a bit. I had our 2012 PS not to long ago and it is drinking very well, I would suggest decanting the wine for a good hour. It still has a lot of life but would be excellent with any sore of meat dishes, short ribs, lamb chops, any meat with richness off the BBQ this Summer would be great to enjoy with this wine. Hope this helps!
I should be able to report on this tomorrow. It got sent to my Irvine Wine Locker, and they are closed today (Sunday).
So hopefully I can report tomorrow evening. (It arrived yesterday, and I didn’t see the email (sent to alt email) til today. Mea Culpa!)
Was hoping to grab a PWR PS (from March) to compare, but sadly I was unable to grab one, buried as they were, in the time I had (needed to get moving to miss even worse traffic back to LB).
Anywho, popped the bottle open to let it get some air and recorked it while picking up food (lamb chops for TimB and I, Greek Salad for Tim’s SWMBO. So it had been open for about an hour, although still with the cork.
Videotaped the tasting, so we’re in the editing phase. Hope to be able to post something tomorrow, except it won’t be as entertaining as the last one (that is, if we had taped it!).
So most of our notes will be there. But basically we tasted over two hours, we all agreed with what has been posted, and we all liked it. Tim did get pencil shavings (wood notes) and I also picked up the wood notes. It went well with the lamb chops, not so much with the chocolates.
Tim will take 2 bottles, and I’ll keep 4. I just need someone(s) else to the other 6 bottles! 3 and 3, or 4 and 2? Any takers?