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Storrs Santa Cruz Petite Sirah 1997

Petite Sirah from Central Coast, California
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    Storrs

    Storrs

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    Storrs, , California
    Storrs
    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.

    Piedmont

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    A prestigious and distinctive region for red wines in northwestern Italy, Piedmont is responsible for some of the country’s longest-lived, most sought-after wines. Set in the foothills of the Alps, the terrain consists of visually stunning rolling hills. The most prized vines are planted at higher altitudes on the warmer, south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. The climate is continental, with cold winters and hot, muggy summers. Despite the rain shadow effect of the Alps, precipitation takes place year-round, and a cooling fog provides moisture that aids in the ripening of grapes.

    Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin, and juicy red fruit. However, the most prized variety is Nebbiolo, named for the region’s omnipresent fog (“nebbia” in Italian). This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins, and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure, and the best examples, when made in a traditional style, require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. More affordable and imminently drinkable Nebbiolo can be found in the larger Langhe area as well as Gattinara, Ghemme, and other less-prominent appellations. Dolcetto is Piedmont’s other important red grape, ready to drink as quickly as Barbera but with lower acidity and higher tannin. White wines are less important here but can be high in quality, and include Arneis, Gavi, and sweet, fizzy wines made from Muscat.

    Cabernet Sauvignon

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    A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

    In the Glass

    High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

    Sommelier Secrets

    Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

    CSF19281_1997 Item# 13859

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