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Guenoc Lake County Petite Sirah 2011

Petite Sirah from Lake County, North Coast, California
    13% ABV
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    3.5 4 Ratings
    13% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The 2011 Guenoc Lake County Petite Sirah has intense aromas of red raspberry, licorice and baked blueberries. The wine has a medium body 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 throughout.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Guenoc

    Guenoc Estate Vineyards

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    Guenoc Estate Vineyards, Lake County, North Coast, California
    2011 Lake County Petite Sirah
    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.

    Lake County

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    A warm inland area just north of Napa Valley, Lake County represents a new frontier for California winemaking. While Prohibition halted viticulture here, as it did in so many California regions, significant winemaking activity didn’t resume until the 1990s when its fruity but savory Sauvignon blanc earned the area new recognition.

    Lake County is comprised of a handful of unique American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

    Vineyards settle into the hills on the west side of Clear Lake, creating the Clear Lake AVA, and produce good quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc and Zinfandel. Recently some of Napa’s more respected growers have recognized the potential of The Red Hills AVA, located within the boundaries of the Clear Lake AVA. Its notable volcanic and obsidian-based soils could be the source of California’s next best Cabernet Sauvignons. Andy Beckstoffer, a leader the escalation of Napa Valley to a world-renowned wine region, has already invested heavily in the area.

    Guenoc Valley AVA produces fine examples of Petite Sirah, recognized for their voluptuous aromas of clove, cocoa, tobacco and deep red and blue berry flavors.

    The High Valley AVA sits northeast of Clear Lake. This warm area boasts multiple soil types allowing growers a lot of flexibility and experimentation with grape varieties. While Sauvignon blanc is a mainstay, this zone excels with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, as well as other less common varieties like Barbera and Tempranillo.

    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.

    EPC24313_2011 Item# 119963

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