The 2010 Petite Sirah comes from our Wittstrom Vineyard in the rolling foothills northwest of the city of Paso Robles. Wittstrom Vineyard enjoys optimal growing conditions for maximizing Petite Sirah’s natural peppery character and intense black fruit flavors. The 2010 Petite Sirah belongs to our limited-edition White Label series, which signifies small lots of the highest quality expressed through alternative varietals and unconventional blends.
The 2010 Petite Sirah bursts from the glass with lively aromas of blueberry, violets and vanilla, with trailing notes of tobacco and white pepper. A juicy, chewy texture is layered with concentrated flavors of blackberry, black cherry and boysenberry. Accents of dark chocolate and peppery spice join sleek tannins on a robust yet balanced finish.
Petite Sirah is an exception for us, as it is our only wine that doesn’t come from our estate Margarita Vineyard. Whereas our other varietals excel amid Margarita Vineyard’s relatively cool growing conditions at the southernmost point of the Paso Robles region, Petite Sirah thrives amid the hotter afternoons at Wittstrom Vineyard to the north. Here, Ancient Peaks Winery co-owner Karl Wittstrom planted 13 acres of Petite Sirah to capture this natural synergy between climate and varietal. Temperature swings of 50 degrees within a 24-hour period are not uncommon at Wittstrom Vineyard during the summer months, demonstrating the daily interplay of inland warmth and incoming marine air. The vineyard rows run west to east to capture the prevailing coastal breezes, further enabling the grapes to achieve balanced ripeness. Wittstrom Vineyard is also planted with progressive high-density vine spacing, resulting in low-yielding vines that produce fruit with dense, rich flavors.
Petite Sirah is the most naturally hedonistic of our wines, but we nevertheless aim to accentuate it with balance and structure. After hand harvesting and destemming, the wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks. The must was pumped over three times daily to soften the wine while fostering even extraction, and total skin contact was limited to 17 days to keep the varietal’s naturally robust tannins from becoming aggressive. After fermentation, the wine aged for 22 months in French oak barrels, specifically Seguin Moreau barrels with medium-plus toasting to complement the Petite Sirah’s intense character with a darker, smokier oak influence. This higher level of toasting also ensures a more moderate tannin influence from the wood. The result is a wine with a big fruit profile and noticeable oak, but with supple tannins and a measured character.
Petite Sirah (100%)