This elegant wine captures the splendor and trappings of getting dressed up and attending a black tie affair. The organic fruit and French oak work in concert to produce sweet, spicy fragrances of blackberry, crème de casis, violets and licorice with a hint of smoke. It has firm, chewy tannins, lively acidity and medium-to-full body in conjunction with a silky texture and rich mouthfeel. The palate reveals layers of black cherry and blackberry jam with elements of toasted oak, mocha, grilled game, fennel and earth.
Acknowledging cabernet sauvignon as the most famous of the five grapes used to make red wine in Bordeaux, “siblings” merlot, malbec, cabernet franc and petit verdot have the stuffing and structure to stand on their own as varietal wines when properly cultivated and fermented. Petit verdot bears a slight resemblance to its “big brother”, cabernet sauvignon, but the contrasts in aroma and flavor are what make it interesting for a winemaker to bottle and enjoy. Simply stated, petit verdot has more berry components, slightly more tannins, and is usually deeper in color.
The Paso Robles AVA lies 25 miles inland from the coast with mild conditions in winter, spring and fall. Summers are mostly hot and dry, but a break in the coastal range allows a marine layer to move inland in the late afternoon, lowering temperatures and providing the cool evenings and nights that promote well-balanced grape acidity.
Cira Vineyard lies on Paso’s eastern plateau in well-drained sandy clay-loam soils. The 2001 planting is certified organic and mostly farmed with non-till practices that benefit both grape and environment. Vines are planted on bilateral cordons with 1103P rootstock and Clone 400 petit verdot, yielding three to four tons of plush fruit per acre on average.