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Vasco Urbano Brunswick Petite Sirah 2014

Petite Sirah from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Aromatics of fresh blackberries, blueberry cobbler, and dark chocolate, the wine hits the palate with a rush of accompanying flavors. The wine crosses the mid palate and fills the mouth with balanced acid and tannins to match the wines density. Enjoy with grilled anything, or on a cool autumn evening on the patio.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Vasco Urbano

    Vasco Urbano Wine Co.

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    Vasco Urbano Wine Co., Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
    In 2009 when Nottingham Cellars came to be, we scheduled a meeting at Casa de Vinas with grower Julio Covarrubias. We were considering producing Cabernet Sauvignon from the vineyard. After a long walk through the Cabernet Sauvignon block, and two bottles of wine, we took a walk over into the Petite Sirah. We were about 3 weeks from harvest and Julio was pushing us to try a couple tons of the Petite. We walked the vineyard, tasting fruit, talking about the Valley. While we were hesitant to not lose track of our Cabernet Sauvignon vision, we agreed that it would be a great wine for our wine club. After all, this Valley has a huge history of growing and producing some of the world’s finest Petite Sirahs. We agreed to take 2 tons, and would use the wine for the wine club, or it would go into a blend. We were absolutely taken back by the Petite Sirah. The next vintage we upped our tonnage to 10 tons. The year after we secured the majority of the vineyard, leaving only a handful of tons to a few small producers. In 2010, inspired by our friend Julio, we secured tonnage of Syrah from the famed Hayes Ranch, Grenache from Marina Ranch, and Mourvedre from Raboli Vineyard in the efforts to make a GSM for our wine club. The wines quickly sold out and grew rapidly in popularity. As we have evolved, we decided the Rhone style wines were worthy of having their own presence and we wanted to make more of the wines available to our customers. With the 2012 vintage, we are pleased to announce the launch of Vasco Urbano Wine Company.

    Livermore Valley

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    A warm sub-appellation of the greater San Francisco Bay AVA (American Viticultural Area), Livermore Valley mainly hides behind the shielding effects of the bay’s eastern hills. However, its west to east orientation makes it unique among northern California wine growing regions. When summer daytime heat rises from the Central Valley to its east, this pulls the cold, foggy, bay air inland. This cooler air permeates the coastal range and creeps into Livermore Valley's foothills. Late afternoon winds cool down summer nights, making this an ideal environment for the development of phenolic ripeness and concentration in its wine grapes.

    Aside from the favorable climate, Livermore Valley's soils of gravel and rocks provide excellent drainage for vineyards.

    The Livermore Valley is one of California's oldest wine regions and has played a crucial role in shaping California's wine industry. Its wine growing history dates back farther than most. Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley as far back as the 1760s. Then in the mid 1800s, a man named Robert Livermore planted the area’s first commercial vineyards. Winemaker pioneer C. H. Wente arrived a few years later; today the Wente Chardonnay clone is the source of a majority of California Chardonnay. Furthermore, James Concannon and the Wetmore brothers recognized the virtues of the area’s Bordeaux-like gravel soils and dedicated themselves to making high quality wine from Bordeaux varieties. Today the area is also known for high quality Petite Sirah.

    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.

    EPC34571_2014 Item# 166143