Clayhouse Estate Petitie Sirah 2007

Our Red Cedar Estate Vineyard outside Paso Robles provides the grapes for this classic Petite Sirah. At Red Cedar, the vines are planted on moderate rolling benchland above the Estrella River. The main portion of the blend is from our old-vine Petite Sirah block 43, which consistently produces the richest and most complex Petite Sirah at Red Cedar Vineyard.

The grapes were handpicked, field sorted, and shipped to the winery in half ton bins. We destemmed with minimal maceration of the berries, and then moved the must into ­stainless steel fermenters using d254 and Prisse de Mousse yeasts. Fermentation temperatures reached 84 degrees F, and we pumped over the skins up to three times per day. The new wine remained on the skins for up to eight days before we drained the tanks at dryness and pressed the skins with a Bucher bladder press. The hard press wine was discarded. After fermentation, the new wine aged 18 months in 40% new oak, including French, American, Russian and Romanian. We racked the wines twice during aging and topped monthly. The power and structure of the Petite Sirah warranted extended aging with a fairly large percentage of new oak. With Petite Sirah we focus on making an elegant, age-able and classic wine from a semi-classic varietal.

Our Petite Sirah comes from some of the oldest plantings in the region. The wine has a
solid tannin core, white pepper, plum and blackberry pie aromas, with a hint of cranberry.
The Syrah imparts a touch of floral spice. Elegant yet rich, this Petite has chewy
mouthfeel and finishes with cleansing, fine-grain tannins. It should improve in the bottle
through at least 2014-2015.

Tasting Date: November 2011
Retail Price on Tasting Date: $


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