Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2011
Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, California
The cooler 2011 vintage yielded an elegant Petite Sirah, scented with the varietal's signature trio of black fruit, floral and spicy characteristics. Fresh, juicy flavors of blackberry and blueberry are complemented by generous spice notes of clove and pepper with a subtle hint of rose petal. Refined and supple tannins balance the wine's powerful palate, keeping this Petite Sirah particularly graceful.
Wine & Spirits - "This wine's dark plum flavor is completely dry, with savory herb notes in the background. It’s reduced when first poured, needing hours in a decanter or several years in the cellar to come around. With air, the juiciness of the fruit comes to the fore, a sleek Napa red with rich balsamic notes and earthy, plum-skin tannins. Age it to serve with slow-braised short ribs."
Wine Enthusiast - "There are small percentages of Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, Mourvèdre and Viognier in this Petite. Combined, they add to a greater whole of inky, coffee-mocha flavor around soft, restrained tannins. Blackberry and blueberry fruit also figure prominently, as good as your grandmother’s pies."
Tasting Panel - "Dark and juicy with bright plum and berry fruit; big but not overpowering; nicely balanced, ripe and tangy; long and actually showing finesse. "
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Stags' Leap Winery
A fashionable country resort in the mid-twentieth century, popular with Hollywood due to its 1892 stone Manor House and historic gardens, legends of bootleggers and gangsters, ghosts and gypsies, Stags' Leap has been home to three major family groups up through the modern revitalization of the winery that began in the 1970s.
Stags Leap Manor, as it was called in the 1920s, was known as one of the prominent country retreats in the Napa Valley at a time when resort and spa business was big. In addition to lodging and dining, amenities included lawn tennis, swimming, horseback riding, children's activities, golf, music, cards, a library, and Napa Valley wines and liquors (prior to and after Prohibition).
An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity. View all Stags' Leap Winery Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold