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Shannon Ridge High Elevation Petite Sirah 2015

Petite Sirah from Lake County, North Coast, California
  • WE90
  • WW90
13.9% ABV
  • WE92
  • WE91
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3.9 6 Ratings
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3.9 6 Ratings
13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Harvested in September, this Petite Sirah exudes blackberry, blueberry, and fresh plums with a hint of dried herbs. Black pepper, cedar, warm spices, and toasty vanilla notes come out after aging this wine on a combination of French and America oak for 9 months.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This deeply colored wine has earthy and toasty aromas, ample blackberry and blueberry flavors, good concentration and a soft texture. It feels smooth, with finegrained tannins.
WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: I have always said that Petite Sirah is one of California's best red wine values. The wines offer loads of fruit and sit so nicely on the palate. TASTING NOTES: The 2015 Shannon Ridge High Elevation Petite Sirah surrounds the palate with an excellent grapiness that stays persistent and fine. (Tasted: April 27, 2018, San Francisco, CA)
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Shannon Ridge

Shannon Ridge

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Shannon Ridge, Lake County, North Coast, California
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Shannon Ridge is dedicated to crafting luscious, fruit-driven wines that express the distinct characteristics of fruit grown in the high valley region of Lake County, California. Family-owned and operated, Shannon Ridge was founded in 2001. The winery's vineyards hug the mountain rims along the south-east edge of High Valley AVA. Surrounded by dramatic landscapes and pristine wilderness, the story of High Valley is clearly visible from our property. At 2,200 feet, on top of the Terre Vermeille vineyard look to your south, you'll see the deep blue waters of Clear Lake, that provide cooling winds throughout our long summer days. Turn to the west, and you can distinguish where the lava flows give way to the alluvial fan of the ancient lake bed on the valley floor. And from the north, and you can feel the cold night winds from Snow Mountain and the peaks of the Mendocino National Forest.

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 just as it did in so many California regions, winemaking activity remained fairly insignificant for a few decades longer than others. Finally in the 1990s Lake County Sauvignon blanc—uniquely savory and fruity—earned the appellation a renewed reputation.

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

Vineyards that settle into the hills on the west side of Clear Lake create the Clear Lake AVA and produce good quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc and Zinfandel.

Recently the Red Hills AVA, located within the boundaries of the Clear Lake AVA, has become the focus of some of Napa’s more respected growers. Its notable volcanic and obsidian-based soils could be the source of California’s next best Cabernet Sauvignons. Andy Beckstoffer, a leader in recognizing prime Napa Valley vineyard locales, 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.

TWC35005_2015 Item# 175232