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Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2010

Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, California
  • W&S93
  • RP90
  • WE90
14.4% ABV
  • JS93
  • W&S93
  • RP91
  • CG90
  • WW90
  • RP92
  • WE90
  • W&S91
  • WE90
  • TP90
  • WE91
  • WE93
  • WE90
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4.0 14 Ratings
14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Elegant, fresh and refined, the 2010 Napa Valley Petite Sirah opens with generous aromas of red and black fruit and distinct notes of clove spice. The lush fruit flavors of blueberry, raspberry and boysenberry remain on the palate, complemented by unbelievably soft tannins that add grace without removing any vitality. Subtle hints of vanilla and white pepper linger at the finish of this big, yet approachable Petite Sirah.

Blend: 77% Petite Sirah, 12% Syrah, 6% Grenache, 2% Carignane, 2% Mourvedre, 1% Viognier

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
If you're nostalgic for a time when Napa Valley was planted to petite sirah; when it offered reds that were savory and spicy rather than sweet; when you could afford to buy a Napa Valley red with the kind of complex herbal notes and layered tannic detail that would juice up roast lamb; well, that time is now. Decant a bottle and think, for a moment, that you're in southwest France.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Petite Sirah Napa, a blend of 77% Petite Sirah, 12% Syrah, 6% Grenache and the rest Carignan, Mourvedre and Viognier, is widely available as there are nearly 20,000 cases. This beautiful effort exhibits notes of raspberries, black cherry liqueur, crushed rocks, blueberries and other black fruits. At this stage it is still very much a fruit bomb, but I think the inclusion of the other varietals has toned it down and made it more approachable than a 100% Petite Sirah would be. This is a fascinating, pure, impressive wine to enjoy over the next two to three decades.
Rating: 90+
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This is a ripe, vigorous young Petite Sirah. It's strong in tannins, with just enough acidity to make the black currant, roasted meat, plum and cedar flavors bright. This needs time; give it 5–6 years, and it should glide through 2020.
Cellar Selection
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Stags' Leap Winery

Stags' Leap Winery

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Stags' Leap Winery, Napa Valley, California
2010 Petite Sirah
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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.

CAR971889_10_2010 Item# 125008

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