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Kempton Clark Petite Sirah 1999

Petite Sirah from California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Vintage: 1999 was our finest vintage ever, through during the unusually cold winter, it didn't look promising. Frost hit the Dunnigan Hills for the first time in 17 years,and initially we feared a substantial loss to the crop. Spring however was mild,with light rains; summer was perfect, with daytimes in the high 80s to low 90s, and night temperatures in the mid 50s. Mild, dry weather was the rule for fall, and with no fear of rain damage, grapes hung on the vines until optimum ripeness. Taste: Lush, aromatic crushed raspberry and blackberry flavors are underscored with subtle oak and a dash of black pepper. The tannins are full yet balanced. Serving suggestions for this hearty red: pork adobo, chicken chipotle, or vindaloo lamb curry.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Kempton Clark

    Kempton Clark

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    Kempton Clark, California
    Kempton Clark is a brand of the R.H. Phillips Winery dedicated solely to producing Zinfandel. Using grapes selected from vineyards from Mendocino to Cucamonga Valley, Kempton Clark showcases California's heritage varietal.

    California

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    Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

    Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.

    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.

    LAU2102567_1999 Item# 49896