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Guenoc Lake County Petite Sirah 2009

Petite Sirah from North Coast, California
  • WE89
  • WS88
14.5% ABV
  • WE90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 Guenoc Lake County Petite Sirah has intense aromas of vanilla, licorice and baked blueberries. The wine full bodied, with melt in your mouth tannins and layers of spicy complexity. A refreshing acidity on the palate contributes to an extraordinary long finish which echoes the delicious flavors of ripe plum and sweet oak.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 89
Wine Enthusiast
For a fairly large production, turn-key Petite Sirah this one is very worthwhile, with a fully fruity nose of dark plum and blackberry that gets broody with notes of clove and cinnamon. The wine's got good balance for a PS, is even-keeled and yet has plenty of meat on its bones. A great go-to Petite Sirah.
WS 88
Wine Spectator
Blackberry pie, French vanilla ice cream and fresh blueberry notes are rich and unctuous, with plenty of spice, pepper and cedar details. Offers a big mouthful of dense but polished tannins. Drink now through 2019.
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Guenoc

Guenoc Estate Vineyards

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Guenoc Estate Vineyards, North Coast, California
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Located 90 miles north of San Francisco, the 23,000 acre Guenoc Estate, claiming some of the oldest vineyards in California, includes the most northwestern area of Napa Valley, all of Guenoc Valley, and the southern extremes of Lake County. From 1888 to 1906 the Guenoc Estate was owned by internationally famous actress and vintner Lillie Langtry, who vowed to make "claret of the finest kind known in the country" in her California valley and placed her portrait on her estate produced bottles of wine. Today, the George Watts' portrait of Lillie Langtry has become the famous cameo trademark of Guenoc wines. In 1981, Guenoc Valley was recognized by the federal government as a separate and distinctive viticultural area, the first appellation under single-proprietorship in the United States. Traditional winemaking techniques and utilization of the best of French oak and highest quality stainless steel equipment allow winemaker Malcolm Seibly to create wines which continue to garner championship awards in both national and international competitions.

North Coast

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Encompassing the grape-growing regions located north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano. Napa and Sonoma get all of the attention, but there are a few other counties producing great wine in Northern California. Two notable examples are Mendocino and Lake County, the northernmost winegrowing regions in the state. These AVAs are very different, both from their neighbors to the south and from one another.

Mendocino benefits from the cooling fog of the Pacific Ocean and is able to successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. There is a significant focus here on organic viticulture. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc are the dominant varieties. Both regions are excellent sources of high-quality but affordable California wines in a wide range of styles.

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.

YNG150229_2009 Item# 109043