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Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah 1999

Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, California
  • WE93
0% ABV
  • W&S93
  • RP91
  • CG90
  • WW90
  • RP92
  • WE90
  • W&S91
  • WE90
  • TP90
  • W&S93
  • RP90
  • WE90
  • WE91
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

There's nothing petite about this wine! Inky dark and delicious, this Petite Sirah from one of Napa Valley's most famous wineries combines ageability and value.

Howevever, Petite Syrah is a more delicate wine than its color or flavor intensity would imply," says winemaker Robert Brittan. From the outset, the grapes that become a part of this wine are handled with extreme care - handpicked, transported the short distance to the winery in small bins, and fermented in small batches at moderately warm temperatures. "You want to extract enough tannin to give the wine structure, but you don't want to overdo it; if you don't remove the skins at just the right time, you can easily create a monster."

The final wine, with 79% Petite Syrah, 15% Syrah, 3% Carignane, 2% Viognier and 1% Grenache, gives off big aromas of blackberry, mocha, forest floor and truffles. These aromatics are echoed in the mouth and woven with flavors of blackberry syrup, orange marmalade and cola. A thick, creamy mouthfeel finishes long with a sensation of bitter chocolate.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
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Stags' Leap Winery

Stags' Leap Winery

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Stags' Leap Winery, Napa Valley, California
1999 Petite Sirah
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. 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.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest 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 District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Petite Sirah

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With its deep color, rich texture, firm tannin, and bold flavors, there is nothing petite about Petite Sirah. The variety was originally known as Durif, but took on its more popular moniker when it was imported to California from France in 1884. Despite its origins, it has since become known as a quintessentially Californian grape. It has been commonly utilized as a blending partner for softer Zinfandel and other varieties, but has also found success as a single varietal wine. It is most commonly grown in Lodi and the Central Valley, and to an extent in Sonoma and Napa counties.

In the Glass

Petite Sirah wines are typically deep, dark, rich, and inky, with concentrated flavors of blueberry, plum, backberry, black pepper, sweet baking spice, leather, and cigar box, and chewy, chocolatey tannins. Notes of vanilla and coconut can be found in examples with significant amounts of new oak.

Perfect Pairings

Petite Sirah’s full body and bold fruit make it an ideal match for barbecue, especially brisket with a slightly sweet sauce, and other rich meat dishes. The variety’s heavy tannins call for fatty protein and strong flavors that won’t get drowned out by the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Don’t get Petite Sirah confused with Syrah—it is not, as the name might seem to imply, a smaller version of Syrah. It is, however, the offspring of Syrah (crossed with an obscure French variety called Peloursin), so the two grapes do share some characteristics despite being completely distinct varieties.

CWC77784W_1999 Item# 52411

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