The 2007 Lot 1 is our tenth 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.
Our 2007 grape crop exhibited many high quality wine indicators as a result of the year's lower rainfall, early bloom, timely veraison and moderate temperatures. The limited amount of vine stress due to low rainfall over the winter and a solid, warm summer without a lot of heat spikes fostered even grape ripening. The cluster shapes and berry sizes looked ideal. The crop was smaller, with lighter clusters, smaller berries, and thicker skins lending a tannic bite that will yield wines with exceptional structure and age-worthiness. There was an ideal mix of well ripened and just-right berries with very little variation. We expected a short, furious harvest; however, it ended up being one of the longer ones starting September 14th and ending on October 15th..
Our family vineyard, located on the valley floor just north of St. Helena on the Silverado Trail, possesses well-drained, sandy, alluvial soils and is characterized by its ability to produce complex wines with well-defined fruit flavors, gentle acids and naturally balanced tannins. The Cabernet Sauvignon vines vary in age. They were most recently planted between the years 1996 to 2001 and are a combination of the 337 and See clones. Further north, our Ehlers Lane Vineyard consists of a stony, dry streambed and a knoll composed of thin gravelly soil over hard volcanic ash. Planted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon these infertile soils produce low yields of grapes with concentrated 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.
Detailed Wine Information
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 70% Petite Sirah, 25% Petit Verdot, 5% Zinfandel
Harvest Dates: October 2007
Barrel Aging: 22 months, 50% new barrels (100% French)
Bottled: August 2009
Cases Produced: 105
Release Date: November 15, 2010