This “not-so-petite” wine speaks to the terroir of Dry Creek Valley. By blending 9% each of Zinfandel and Grenache into the 82% Petite Sirah base, the resulting wine offers more depth and upfront fruit. The smooth mouthfeel is bursting with a bright mixed berry essence—blackberry, cherry, cassis and dried strawberry—with traces of dark plum, bittersweet chocolate, tobacco and violets. Velvety tannins emerge in the lengthy finish to complete this muscular, yet graceful wine. Try it with Moroccan braised lamb shanks served with orzo, or a rack of smoked pork ribs with mashed sweet potatoes. Drink now or through 2035.
Petite Sirah is a grape not widely grown outside of California, and could be considered as much of an American variety as Zinfandel. It has more often been used as a blending component to enhance the color, tannins and structure of other red varietals, since by itself we usually find Petite Sirah to be rather monolithic and one-dimensional. Since our first vintage of Petite Sirah in 1994, we’ve chosen to blend other full-flavored varietals that complement Petite Sirah, and add complexity, layers of flavors, spice and length.
In 2014, we sourced the base wine grapes from two distinct vineyards in Dry Creek Valley to showcase the overlapping terroirs. With a healthy dash of Zinfandel and Grenache added to the blend, we’ve created a delicious wine that truly speaks to our overall sense of place.
Composition and Varietal Breakdown
82% Petite Sirah -
67% Clendenen Vineyard - September 6th
15% Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard - September 23rd
9% Zinfandel - Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard - September 24th
9% Grenache - West Vineyard - September 20th
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
TA: 0.64 g/100ml
Barrel Aging: 27 months
Cooperage: 40% new American oak barrels, 25% 2-4 year old French and Hungarian oak barrels, 35% older, neutral oak barrels
Peterson Winery has been producing wine in Dry Creek Valley for 30 years and, like most wineries in the Valley, produces Zinfandel as well as other wines. Yet a closer look shows that is where the similarities end.
Owner Fred Peterson is an iconoclast with an old world winemaking philosophy and a reverence for sustainable farming. The Peterson approach is to capture the essence of vintage and vineyard—a philosophy they call Zero Manipulation—with low tech, yet high touch, to produce wines of a place, wines with soul. The evolution of Peterson wines and winemaking accelerated when Fred’s son Jamie became assistant winemaker in the summer of 2002. In 2006, after moving from the tiny red barn on Lytton Springs to Timber Crest Farms, Jamie was given the overall responsibilities as winemaker. As a winegrowing team, Fred and Jamie assess the grapes from each vineyard and vintage as the season progresses, evaluating how the weather, soil and site are interacting for the particular vintage. At Peterson winery, the winemaking process begins while the grapes are still on the vines. Zero Manipulation is a discipline the Petersons follow to capture the character and balance of inherent in the grapes. Zero Manipulation means using the most gentle, traditional winemaking practices possible to maximize the flavors, aromatics and texture of the wines. Fred and Jamie celebrate vintage differences and don’t tweak or homogenize the wine to obtain consistency of flavors, a common practice in mass-market wineries. For Fred and Jamie, Peterson Winery is all about the wines. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll see the heart and soul that goes into every bottle.
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Reporting for duty once again, and what a treat to receive this before July 4th celebration.
Opening the UPS box I was immediately greeted with a much recognized Peterson Winery label! I have previously purchased the 2013 & 2014 Barbera wines which both my wife and I are big fans of.
Visual: Pitch dark as would be expected from this grape. After a few swirls around the glass, there were medium to fast moving legs.
Aromas: Lots of dark berries picked up immediately, jammy but not overly sweet. The predominant aroma I was picking up, the best I can describe it, is as if I was smelling directly out of a wine barrel.
Taste: My wife picked up hints of banana bread, and after a second taste I could also detect some of the banana bread finish but very very subtle. This wine is full bodied, very juicy, succulent, chewy mouthful with a well rounded finish. Acidity level seems low leaving a mild salivating aftertaste but then again it could have been me craving another sip.
We paired this wine with smoked brisket and burnt ends which all complimented one another very well. Made for a nice meal on a pretty warm day.
My wife and I were not quite as impressed with this wine compared to the Barbera but we were still pleased tasting it. I will be ordering a few bottles and storing for those cooler winter nights.
Today’s Rattage: 2014 Petite Sirah by Peterson, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County.
My apologies for the delay here. UPS finally delivered this bottle mere hours ago. That notwithstanding, here are my quick thoughts.
Dark opaque color. Warm intense nose full of big plum and dark cherry. I pick up secondary notes of berries tertiary notes of cedarwood and wet sand sedimentary earth.
Body is mild mannered with just a touch of acidity accompanied by big buttery plummy tannins creates a very nice full mouthfeel. Body has good fruit but remains dry (not sweet). The sandy terroir makes an appearance towards the back with a hint of minerality. Finish is smooth, crisp and brisk ending with a dry tannic grip that leaves the palate parched.
This is a surprisingly mature wine that is showing really well right now but should further develop nicely over the next few years. At $159.99/case I would buy a case, enjoy half now and lay the rest down. This winemaker is onto something. I have been consistently impressed with the quality of their wines and the head scratching value. This is without doubt a good deal on a great well made wine.
@mrn1 sorry about that buddy. I felt really bad too because by the time UPS finally delivered it, I knew it would be mere hours before the deal was up. I was hoping it would be one of those “okay” deals but when I opened it I knew it was a good one. Hopefully the next rattage arrives in time
@winesnob I was very surprised how quiet things were in the community on this offering, especially since Peterson’s previous offerings have been so solid. Keep up the good work…and keep Colchagua Valley on your radar!
@mrn1 yeah unfortunately UPS just dragged their feet. This is the type of solid buy I like to post on my blog.
So I dunno if it was you who suggested Colchagua but I did begin exploring the region earlier this year and found a few gems. Lapostolle just blew me away. Here’s a link to some of my favorite Chilean wines. There’s even one from Casemates in there! As soon as things get back to normal, I’d very much like to visit Colchagua Valley.