Two Thursday meetings with Petite Sirah to close each meeting. For wine guys, it's a high water morning when the waves of fruit are followed by tannic saturation at 8:45 in the morning. (For professionals only. Do NOT try at home.)
First up was Carver-Sutro, tiny production from the ancient Palisades vineyard in the northeast corner of Napa Valley. The first vines were planted by the Dominico Barberis family who settled here in 1902 after moving from Italy. He and his family farmed the vineyards for 90 years, Denis Sutro and Anne Carver are the current custodians.
The Petite Sirah is textbook. Rich and dark, with blue-black fruits leading to a massively meaty mouthful of wine. The flavors brood dark on the palate. As the fruits begin to fade the substantial tannins keep them alive through the long finish. Exciting wine, and very limited. Available in New York, California and Sigel's. We received just 4 cases of the 2007 vintage.
Then we met with Jesse Inman who now makes the wine at August Briggs. In years past the Briggs Petite Sirah was sourced from the Black Rock Vineyard in Lake County where the fruit was ripened by the heat from the black obsidian in the volcanic soil. The next release will be from the Frediani vineyard, also found the the northern corner of Napa Valley. The Frediani family holds some of the Calistoga areas great treasures: old-vine Zinfandel, Charbono that used to go the old Inglenook Charbono's of yesteryear and the Petite Sirah that goes to August Briggs. The old vines still speak through the elegant, polished style of the Briggs wines, simultaneously silky smooth and gnarly tannic with rich layers of dark fruits and berries.
Previously available only through the Briggs tasting room or the wine club. We just have a few cases to sell.