August 03, 2020

“What’s in a name? Check your wine labels carefully...”
Cape Gazette
John McDonald August 1, 2020
I had the opportunity to sample the new-release Stags’ Leap Winery selections. Be very careful with these labels. Make sure it is spelled Stags’ Leap, famous for its Petite Sirah, not Stag’s Leap - a neighbor. (Emphasis is on the apostrophe. AFTER the "s" in Stags' = Petite Sirah)
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June 15, 2020

“Petite Sirah: The Winemaker’s Wine Forges a New Path”
The Vintner Project
Kathleen Willcox
Perhaps they’re excellent salespeople, perhaps the launch of PS I Love You happened at an auspicious time, or perhaps it’s a combination of those and other factors. Either way, the acreage of Petite Sirah in California has risen steadily, and is currently at 12,000+ acres, and growing. ~ Now, as more adventurous drinkers are seeking out lesser-known varieties and wines, Petite Sirah is coming into its own. Recently, I sampled several Petite Sirahs across a variety of AVAs in California, and I was thrilled by the diversity of flavor. I reached out to their makers to find out how and why they first fell for this big bold grape, and why, in addition to being just generally delicious, it may offer hope for winemakers on the lookout for grapes that thrive in challenging weather.
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June 14, 2020

“Berryessa Gap”
Instagram - Kathleen Willcox
Kathleen Willcox
... this 2017 Petite Sirah from Berryessa Gap (a #sample) tastes like a summer forest in full bloom. Cedar, blackberries, sun-warmed red cherries, violets. There’s tannins yes, as there always are with Petite Sirah, but it’s really more of a gentle embrace than an obsessive grip. Also wafts of mint and dark chocolate. This PS is a field blend from Berryessa’s Coble Ranch Vineyard in Yolo County, with Peloursin and Zinfandel in there, co-harvested and co-fermented. @berryessagapvineyards
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June 12, 2020

“Instagram - Vincent Arroyo Family Winery”
Instagram
Kathleen Willcox
The Vincent Arroyo Family Winery is in its second generation (Vince’s daughter Adrian and her husband Matt run the show), but it's sticking to its O.G. ideals. They take what the land gives them, and they make the best of it, with tailor-made regimens—from crush, to fermentation to barrel-aging—that capitalize on the strengths and downplay the weaknesses of each vintage. Arroyo makes Chard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Zin and several blends, but Petite Sirah is their baby. This one is classic Petite: deeply colored, bold with blackberry notes, a full body, tobacco, earth, forest.
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June 11, 2020

“Miro Cellars”
Instagram - Kathleen Willcox
Kathleen Willcox
Winemaker Miro Tcholakov was born and raised in northern Bulgaria, which has millennia of winemaking history, surrounded by wine culture from a young age. In 1990 after graduating from wine school, he was accepted to the prestigious exchange study program set up The Future Farmers of America, and landed in Napa. Thankfully, he decided to put down roots in Cali, eventually becoming a winemaker at Trentadue, and then launching his own winery, Miro Cellars. His wines are stunning expressions of Sonoma County terroir. The 2018 Petite Sirah hails from vineyards comprised of decomposed rocks and brick red Manzanita soils, perfect for low pH Petites. The wine is fantastically evocative of mountain blueberries, warmed in the sun, with medium body and soft tannins. Long, juicy, powerful. The 2017 has a hefty mouthfeel, with an explosion of blackberries, white pepper and violets, with maple overplaying. I drank these gems on the patio with grilled chicken, corn on the cob and way too much chocolate cake. Simple, beautiful.
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June 07, 2020

“Theopolis Vineyards”
Instagram - Kathleen Willcox
Kathleen Willcox
Theopolis Vineyards is a favorite of mine. It’s hard to know what to focus on. There’s the terroir—Yorkville Highlands in California’s Anderson Valley—the founder—Theodora Lee, partner and trial lawyer, plus Queen of the Vineyards bad**s—the label—ancient Egyptian Queen—the focus—Petite Sirah, a blender-turned-contender—competing for attention. They’re equally compelling. 🍷 But in the end, even if you love a brand, it’s the product itself that has to “wine” you over if you’re going to return.
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June 01, 2020

“Stanton Vineyards Petite Sirah”
Instagram - Kathleen Willcox
Kathleen Willcox
I will always perk up when I learn of a newer winemaker, and I get especially excited when I learn that it’s a grower with deep roots in a region. The Stanton family has been growing grapes in the Napa Valley since 1947, and in 1999 they began making their own wine. 🍷🍷 Now, they make Cabernet Sauvignon from estate-grown grapes, and Petite Sirah from two vineyards they own in St. Helena. The St. Helena AVA, as many of you know, is the birthplace of the Napa Valley’s commercial wine industry. There, some of the most lauded and beloved grapes flourish in sedimentary, gravel-clay, lower-fertility soils. Grapes that grow here are transformed into deeply expressive, complex wines. 🍷🍷 This wine pours deep black-purple. A poem to the sun and earth, with a thunderstorm and falling rocks in the background: blackberries, black pepper, mocha, chewy, dark. Drink this with a book of flowery prose in one hand, in a steak in the other.
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May 31, 2020

“Merisi Wines Petite Sirah”
Instagram - Kathleen Willcox
Kathleen Willcox
Merisi is named after the beloved 16th century Italian painter Michelangelo “Caravaggio” Merisi, who created a legacy by fearlessly challenging the status quo. Caravaggio rejected the opulent artistic style that dominated the art world when he was up-and-coming, and opted instead for mirroring life itself through an impassioned form of realism. Life, veracity, with a skein of magic. 🌟💙 Like Caravaggio, @merisiwines —through sustainable farming in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the winery—aims to reflect the beauty of each season and vineyard. 💙🌟 The wine here is made from grapes grown on Diener Ranch in Lake County. Robust boysenberries, deep mocha, pepper, lead pencil. An herbaciousness underpinning the fruit, with savory notes of bacon and sage.💙🌟💙🌟
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May 22, 2020

“12 California Red Wines Perfect for Grilling”
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
This list of California red blends includes all the big hitters: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Merlot. Each of these bottles is perfect for a long, lazy dinner under the stars and there’s something for everyone at your table.
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May 18, 2020

“An Armchair Traveler’s Guide to Napa Valley Wine Country”
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Virginie Book
STAGS' LEAP WINERY: #StayHome with Stags’ Leap Winery Virtual Wine Tastings Known for Petite Sirah as much as for Cabernet Sauvignon, the historic winery at the foot of the Palisades holds virtual tastings Thursdays at 3 pm Pacific. Discussions not only center on the winery, but the AVA as well, with different wines featured every week. The tastings are offered through Dec. 31.
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May 15, 2020

“Seeing red: wines that make their mark in more ways than one”
The Sydney Morning Herald
So which wines should you avoid unless drinking solo? In addition to the above, I’d add these French wines: Madiran (which is mostly tannat), Cahors (malbec), American petite sirah (another name for durif). But don’t knock anthocyanins: they’re powerful antioxidants and that means they’re good for you!
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May 10, 2020

“Petite Sirah in France? A Flip of the Coin at Clos Hirissou”
Juicy Tales
Jo Diaz
The conversation began: Jo: Hello Nicolas, thank you for your E-Mail. Yes, Petite Sirah is very unusual for France. I would love to speak with you about your vines. I have been wondering what it is like to grow Petite Sirah in France. I believe this is very historic.
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May 01, 2020

“Petite Sirah's Grand Arrival”
Wine Enthusiast
Jim Gordon
Petite Sirah is the black sheep of California wines that never broke out into mass popularity on its own. Simultaneously, it's well loved by winemakers and beef eaters for its awesomely dark color, its plump blueberry and dark chocolate flavors, and it notoriously thick texture... While not all a Petite wine, Petite isn't always a tannic monster, either... Five winemakers featured have proven this point in recent vintages with rich but comfortably polished wines

May 01, 2020

“The California Winemakers Turning a Blending Grape into a Standalone Success”
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Jim Gordon
California winemakers have long respected the grape as a blending partner with Zinfandel—where it provides a framework of firm, dense tannins to support the Zin’s rich fruit notes—as well as other red varieties. While not at all a petite wine, Petite Sirah isn’t always a tannic monster, either. Of five Petite Sirah producers profiled, Theodora Lee of Theopolis Vineyards, and Adam Mettler of Metler Family Vineyards (and winemaker for Michael David Winery are featured.
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May 01, 2020

“Find a Wine”
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
JIM GORDON
For O'Neil Beverage: Strong aromas of wood smoke and charcoal coat ripe blackberry flavors in this full-bodied wine. Very firm tannins tighten up the mouthfeel.
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May 01, 2020

“Michael David 2017 Petite Petit Petite Sirah (Lodi)”
Wine Enthusiast Magazine
JIM GORDON
Dense and concentrated, even chewy, this full-bodied wine is a show-off, from the deep, dark color to the dark chocolate and blackberry jam flavors and even the rich, almost thick texture. Its firm tannins are off-set by superripe flavors that linger on the finish.
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April 29, 2020

“Sorting out Syrah, Shiraz and Petite Sirah”
Kit Sapsun
Mary Earl
The Bogle family has been farming around Clarksburg for six generations. Their involvement in the wine goes back 50-ish years. The first red grape founder Warren Bogle and his son Chris planted in 1968 was Petite Sirah. For 10 years, the family grew grapes for other wineries until releasing its own label in 1978. In 2002, Foppiano Vineyards helped found P.S. I Love You, a trade organization dedicated to the Petite Sirah grape. An Italian family that had been growing grapes for over 120 years, it has over 40 acres planted Petite Sirah.
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April 22, 2020

“What got you into wine? My sister, Christy, was a waiter at Le Chambord in Virginia Beach. It was a fine dining restaurant and is no longer open. But that’s where I met Chef Alvin Williams and Frank Spapen. I have to give them all the credit. I was only 19 and very green when I started at Le Chambord. The kitchen ribbed me no end about the way I pronounced “portobello.” I had taken a lot of Spanish, where ll’s are pronounced like y’s, so it sounded like “portobeyo.” Advertisement 00:59 01:56 Once I was old enough to drink, Alvin took me under his wing and started to teach me. My first favorite wine was Stags’ Leap Petite Sirah, and that’s a huge wine to love as a novice drinker.”
The Virginian Pilot
JUDY COWLING
What got you into wine? My sister, Christy, was a waiter at Le Chambord in Virginia Beach... I was only 19 and very green when I started at Le Chambord....Once I was old enough to drink, Alvin took me under his wing and started to teach me. My first favorite wine was Stags’ Leap Petite Sirah, and that’s a huge wine to love as a novice drinker.
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April 07, 2020

“Wine Line readers respond”
Modesto Bee
Russ Winton
WHAT’S ON OUR TABLE - The Splurge: The 2017 Harney Lane Winery Home Ranch Petite Sirah was Best of Class/Double Gold in the SF Chronicle.
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March 25, 2020

“Central Valley winery wins national award; wine website to check out while stuck at home - Bogle Vineyards”
Merced Sun-Star
Russ Winton
Wine Enthusiast magazine honored Bogle Vineyards with its Wine Star Award for American Winery of the Year. I am not surprised. I’ve been a fan, or better yet a cheerleader, for Bogle for nearly 40 years. The reason is simple, their quality to price ratio. In other words they produce excellent wine using sustainably certified grapes grown from the 1,900 acres they farm in the Clarksburg AVA and sell if for an unbelievably low price. Bogle has made the Wine Enthusiast’s Best Buy selection many times and for good reason, quality and value.
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January 29, 2019

“Three 'flights' to expand your wine knowledge”
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Lorri Hambuchen
Tannins + THE SPLURGE 2017 Earthquake Petite Sirah, California (about $29 retail)... Red wines are known for their tannins and tannins are sometimes the reason consumers don't enjoy red wine. But not all red wines are high in tannins. This is an excellent wine flight to better understand your personal preferences on the taste and intensity many red wines show depending on the tannin levels. Tannins are responsible for the mouth-drying and sometimes bitter taste of some red wines. Be sure you taste the wines from light-bodied (lower tannins) to full-bodied (higher tannins) — a good line would be pinot noir, grenache, sangiovese or tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, and tannat or petite sirah.
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January 21, 2019

“Twisted Oak, the only winery in the Rubber Chicken National Forest”
The Press
Mike Dunne
Wine enthusiasts who like to gaze on vineyards that yield the wines they are tasting are pretty much out of luck in Calaveras County. Most tasting rooms in the county occupy small and historic quarters in the old gold camp of Murphys, with grapes grown and wines made elsewhere. Wood or stone walls and maybe a glimpse of a garden constitute the views. Five miles southwest of Murphys, however, visitors can taste in a working winery adjacent to a vineyard. This is the hilltop home of Twisted Oak Winery, which juts up with the bold and sturdy lines of a headframe and stamp mill at an abandoned Mother Lode gold mine, the winery’s architectural inspiration.
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January 01, 1970

“Trentadue Winery”
Instagram - Kathleen Willcox
Kathleen Willcox
2017 was a year of mercurial weather for wineries in the Sonoma Valley. There was record rain in the winter, a mild spring, hot summer and cool fall that ended with a wet bang when storms hampered harvest. The crop size ended up being smaller than average, with small berries, but the quality was sky high. 🍷🍷🍷 You can taste the drama in the 2017 Trentadue Petite Sirah, with inky purple colors and focused aromas and flavors of blueberries, blackberries, smoked bacon and chocolate. Intense, lush, fresh. 🍷🍷🍷🍷 2018, meanwhile, was more moderate. The grapes had a bit of extra hang time, with very little disease pressure. This 2018 La Storia Petite Sirah has many of the same black and blue notes, but is fuller, with additional notes of earth, vanilla and even brown sugar. 🍷🍷🍷🍷 Both are beautiful, but the 2017 edged it out for me … I’d be curious to try both again in a few years to see how they evolve. 🍷🍷🍷🍷
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