2014 Petite Sirah, Templeton Gap, Paso Robles
Black Peppercorn, Hibiscus, Cassis
- 3 days cold soak; 16 days fermentation in plastic open-top bins
- 10 days whole berry fermentation in open-top tanks
- Punched down 2–3 times dailyy to ensure complete fermentation
- Racked twice to promote flavor development and help soften tannins
- Barrel selection blend
- Aged for 20 months in American oak barrels (35% new)
George Troquato, Winemaker
Alejandro Aldama, Cellar Master
Petite Sirah (aka, Durif) is the offspring of Syrah and Peloursin. Durif was developed in France in the mid-1800s to resist powdery mildew but was found to be less resistant to gray rot, which exists more in France than in the drier climate of California. Petite Sirah is often blended with Zinfandel to add structure and color to a wine and, of course, is also a fantastic standalone wine.
The Templeton Gap, a cool, breezy area of Paso Robles, experiences significant cooling in the evening due to air movement from the Pacific Ocean that enters the Gap through a series of breaks in the coastal mountain range. Alluvial and clay loam soils with shallow-to-moderate depth interspersed with shale and calcareous soils rich in lime and chalk help control the rate of plant growth and yields—producing wine with intense color and mouthfeel.
In early 2014, most California winemakers fretted over the possibility of a third consecutive drought year, but ultimately celebrated an outstanding vintage. January brought dry, seasonable temperatures and February saw one storm but the relief was short-lived. Budbreak in March was up to three weeks early while a cool April throttled growth. Bloom in May and berry set in June were favorable as conditions remained warm, clear, and accelerated. Veraison, the onset of ripening, occurred in mid-July; early August was quite warm, but a return to cooler temperatures slowed development and allowed the formation of deep colors and flavors. The early harvest had average-sized yields, but the consistent weather produced stellar wines despite the drought