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Aged for 18 months, 67% neutral, 33% 1-year French oak. 73 cases produced.
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. The 2013 shows this beautifully, with floral, orange-peel, and white pepper aromas sharing the spotlight with a black-and-blue fruitiness. As a result of the whole-cluster fermentation, the wine shows a more diverse tannic profile on the palate, amplified nicely with sufficient acidity. Delicious now, I am confident this will continue to develop for at least 5-7 years.
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. The head-trained West block was planted in 2007 to a classic Napa Valley combination: Hayne clone on St. George. Immaculately maintained by vineyard owner Frank Leeds and his daughter Lauren Pesch, the block is both dry-farmed and certified organic.
1.1 tons of Petite Sirah were hand-harvested on September 4th, 2013. After being separated into two small fermenters, the grapes were foot-stomped. The 2013 is 100% whole-cluster fermented, and all cap management was done either with hand punchdowns or via foot stomping. After a fast, warm fermentation on the strength of its native yeast, the wine was barreled down into one one-year-old barrel and two neutral barrels. This vintage was aged for 18 months with three rackings before being bottled on April 17th, 2015. for 16 months in oak barrels, with one new French oak puncheon representing 18% of the total, before being bottled with neither fining nor filtration.