This deeply hued wine offers aromas of bramble fruits, smoke, minerals and molasses. The palate displays lush layers of boysenberry, white pepper and vanilla crème, finishing with mouthwatering acidity and a silky kiss of toasted oak. — Age for two to three years.
Fruit was sourced from the San Miguel district of the Paso Robles AVA. Twenty miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, Paso Robles experiences warm, dry summers with occasional heat spikes. A break in the coastal range allows a marine layer to move inland each afternoon, providing the cool evenings and nights that help develop well-balanced grape acidity.
Solana Vineyards are situated above the fog line at 700–1,000 feet of elevation near the town of San Miguel. The dark well-drained soils consist of decomposed sandstone with significant concentrations of limestone that promote optimum vine balance. Frost damage is rare due to the cool-air drainage of the contoured slopes.
Fifteen acres of petite sirah were planted in 2000 and 2001. Trained in the vertical shoot position, the vines produce small berries with concentrated flavors and mature tannins.
Sporadic rain fell in early 2009 with 50% of seasonal totals occurring in March. It was the third straight drought year and temperatures were slightly below norm. Budbreak was delayed until mid-March while April saw successful bloom and fruit set. April, May and early June showed foggy mornings and below average temperatures, but the latter reached triple digits in mid-June. The spike launched a cycle of two scorching weeks followed by 7–10 cool days through most of July, August and September. Seasonable cool mornings and warm days
returned in late September, but the vestiges of a Japanese typhoon dropped 3–4 inches of rain on some vineyards. We harvested most of our fruit during the clear three-week period following the storm, and were quite pleased with the results: small berries with good skin color that translated to rich, dark wines.