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Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2001

Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, California
  • WE91
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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

WE 91
Wine Enthusiast

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Stags' Leap Winery

Stags' Leap Winery

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Stags' Leap Winery, , California
Stags' Leap Winery
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.

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines...

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Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular and age-worthy wines at its best. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Pinot Grigio.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness...

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

SWS83328_2001 Item# 76145

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