Stanton Vineyards Saint Helena Petite Sirah 2016
The Stanton Vineyards Petite Sirah is everything you've come to expect from a Stanton Petite Sirah. It is deep, dark, rich and inky, with aromas of creamy mocha, toasted wood and ample chocolaty tannins.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Here is a wine in which exuberant richness is met by a degree of crafting rarely found in Petite Sirah. It begins with a concentrated, very effusive nose of blackberries, cola, olives and creamy oak accented by a tell-tale varietal touch of pepper and follows with broad, like-minded flavors that are as persistent as they are so very deep. It is at once very full-bodied and genuinely supple in feel, and, even though tannin, it is never compromised by abrasive astringency. There is simply so much polish about this wine that it is thoroughly enjoyable as a foil to savory roasted meats now, but patience will prove to make what is a very good thing even better, and we see this outstanding effort growing for a full decade or more.
St. Helena is in the heart of the Napa Valley, nestled between Calistoga to the north and Rutherford on its southern border. On its western side, the Mayacamas Mountains guard it from the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean; to its east stand the Vaca Mountains. In conjunction, these mountain ranges serve to lock in summer daytime heat. But in the evening, cool air from the San Pablo Bay funnels up through the valley, creating very chilly nights. It isn’t uncommon for temperatures to drop 50 degrees, a shift that promotes a balance of sugar ripeness and acidity in wine grapes.
St. Helena contains a plethora of different soil types in a small area, which have been enhanced over centuries by rain runoff from both mountain ranges. Its vineyards cover a variety of terrain, spreading across the bucolic valley floor and its benchlands.
These ideal topographic and climatic growing conditions easily caught the attention of early winemaking pioneers. In fact, St. Helena is the birthplace of Napa Valley’s commercial wine industry. Dr. Crane founded his cellar in 1859, David Fulton in 1860 and Charles Krug in 1861.
Today there are no less than 400 separate vineyards planted within the 12,000 acres that make up the St. Helena appellation.
Revered most for its red wines based on Bordeaux varieties, namely Cabernet Sauvignon, the St. Helena appellation is also a source of superior Syrah, Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc.
With its deep color, firm tannins and bold flavors, there is nothing petite about Petite Sirah. The variety, originally known as Durif in the Rhône, took on its more popular moniker after being imported to California in the early 1880s. Quintessentially recognized today as a grape of the Golden State, Petite Sirah works well blended with Zinfandel and finds success as a single varietal wine in the state’s warmer districts. Somm Secret—Petite Sirah is not a smaller version of Syrah but it is an offspring of Syrah and the now nearly extinct French Alpine variety called Peloursin.