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Storrs Santa Cruz Petite Sirah 1996

Petite Sirah from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

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    Storrs

    Storrs

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    Storrs, Central Coast, California
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    Stephen Storrs and Pamela Bianchini-Storrs began Storrs Winery with the harvest of 1988. Both trained as winemakers at UC Davis, they worked at a number of wineries including Domaine Chandon, Felton-Empire Vineyards, and Almaden prior to starting their own. With their first vintage, they focused on the unique appellation in their backyard – the Santa Cruz Mountains. Having worked in this terrain for years, they appreciated the cool climate's Burgundian advantage. They quickly grew to a comfortable 10,000 cases per year and in 2001 realized a dream with the purchase of land in the Pleasant Valley district of Corralitos on the western foothills of Mount Madonna in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation.

    Over the next six years, they prepped the land for the organically-farmed vineyard that they planted in the summer of 2007. Their estate vineyard which they call Hidden Springs consists of two clones of Chardonnay – Clones 4 and 17; and five clones of Pinot Noir including the Dijon clones of 115, 667, 828 as well as Clone 2A and the Pommard clone. They are currently considering Bio-dynamic certification to recognize their conservation efforts on behalf of wildlife, soil and water on their farm and their flock of Olde English Babydoll sheep that graze their vineyard during the winter months to promote a more balanced, self-sustaining system.

    Central Coast

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    The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

    Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

    While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

    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.

    CSF19281_1996 Item# 7846