The Story of LOT 1The 2005 Lot 1 is our eighth vintage of this unusual wine that began as an imaginary combination during a blending trial. Several years ago, Eric & Phillip were tasting and talking their way through small lots of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. Tasting slowed and conversation digressed while Eric and Phillip wondered what would happen if we combined these two powerhouse varietals?
Petite Sirah is dark and inky in color, with a hearty, voluptuous texture, and characters of blackberry and black pepper. Petit Verdot shows deep, purpley colour, with a full body, firm tannins and notes of exotic florals, spicy perfume and mineral. Rarely produced as a varietal wine, Petit Verdot is generally blended into Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. Both grapes have their place, but traditionally not in the same bottle. Would blending them together be madness…….or……genius? With an established track record of extraordinary accolades and a very loyal following, we think you’ll agree, that it’s decidedly a bit of both.
The 2005 growing season got off to a slower, later start with a cool spring and late rains stretching into June. The long summer brought moderate heat that stretched into October. The sizable crop showed higher numbers of berries per cluster, and slightly lower sugar levels. Due to the mild weather and large crop, harvest was later – by about two weeks – and gradual, with picking stretching out over several weeks. The lengthy 2005 growing season gifted these elegant wines with lively aromatics and a beautiful balance of concentration and texture.
Rattlesnake Acres, an old, head pruned vineyard northeast of Calistoga with a reputation for concentrated fruit again provided the base of Petite Sirah. Our estate vineyards north of St Helena provided Petit Verdot and Zinfandel. Noted for its well-drained alluvial soils, our family vineyard produces complex wines with well defined fruit flavors.
Following harvest, the grapes were de-stemmed but not crushed, allowing increased control over tannin extraction by minimizing the possibility of broken skins and split seeds. Following a 48-hour cold soak to extract color and flavor, the grapes were fermented for 10 days, with punch-downs occurring twice daily. The free-run was transferred to French and American oak barrels, where it then aged for 22 months and was bottled without filtering. The Petite Sirah provides a base of spice and rich extract, the Petite Verdot adds structure and concentrated berry fruit, and the Zinfandel adds a note of lush briar.
Wine ProfileLot 1, our non-traditional blend of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot, is a big and powerful red wine. The 2005 LOT 1 is arguably Bordeaux-like in terms of its prominent aromas and flavors such as big, red fruits and blueberries, in large part due to the Petit Verdot's ability to stand up and balance the Petite Sirah. The Petite Sirah contributes notes of cherry preserves and even hints of tobacco that complement blueberry pie fruit character. The wine's complexity continues, revealing layers of smoke and subtle notes of violets.The 2005 LOT 1 is arguably more elegant and balanced, in terms of structure, than Lot 1's of the past which is reflective of how strong our estate vineyard shines through in this vintage, true for all of our 2005 wines, and is likely to successfully cellar longer. Recommended drinking time is five to six years from vintage with a maximum suggested aging time of ten to fifteen years from vintage. CAUTION: This wine will turn your teeth blue!
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 65% Petite Sirah, 30% Petit Verdot, 5% Zinfandel
Harvest Dates: 10/04/05 - 10/05/05
Barrel Aging: 22 months, 75% new barrels (50% French and 25% American oak)
and 25% 2 year old French oak
Bottled: July 2007
Cases Produced: 112
Total Acidity: .60 g/100 ml
Release Date: November 1, 2008