2010 was the coolest vintage Paso Robles has seen in a decade. With winter rainfall nearly 50% above normal, and very cool summer temperatures, there were concerns that Petite Sirah may not get fully ripe before late season rains set in. This cool vintage provided an ideal challenge for our newest evolution in vineyard irrigation strategy, which involves stopping irrigation in mid-June, just after fruitset. With weekly measurements of vine water status, we determined precisely when soil profiles had dried out and were in need of watering. We were expecting that a 3 to 5 week “dry-down” would be possible, but were impressed that most of our deep rooted vines did not experience water stress until a full 2 months had passed without irrigation. This dramatic approach in our growing strategy forced vines from their vegetative growth stage to a reproductive stage early in the season. This hastened seed maturity and the
In the vineyards surrounding Tower Road, in the Estrella and San Miguel districts of Paso Robles, our Petite Sirah thrives on the well-drained yet heavier clay soils of the area. The rarity of autumn rains in Paso Robles allows this tightclustered variety to reach full maturity almost every year, without the risk of bunch-rot that exists in damper regions around the state. Despite the intense and relentless summer sun and very warm days, the gentle afternoon breezes that creep in from Monterey County to the north and the Templeton Gap to the southwest cool the area by as much as fifty degrees by early morning, preserving the acidity and bright fruit character of our Petite Sirah.
||Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
||100% Petite Sirah
||October 2, 8 and 21, 2010
||Hand-picked to half ton bins
||25.1° Brix average,
3.51 pH, 0.59 g/100 ml total acidity
||Yeast: Lallemand DV80 yeast
Fermentation: Whole-berry fermentation in open-top and automated pumpover tanks
Temperature: Peak at 80°F
Maceration: 1 day soak prior to inoculation, with 6 days total maceration
Maloactic: 100% malolactic with Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 14 months in barrel
Barrel Type: 40% new French oak
Forests: Blend of five forests
Coopers: Marcel Cadet, Bel Air, Vallaurine
||Racked from barrels and lightly fined with isinglas and gelatin
Total Acidity: 0.61g/100ml
Alcohol: 15.08% by volume
Res. Sugar: 0.01 g/100 ml (dry)
Cases Produced: 1,050 (2,100 six packs)
Cellaring: This dense wine will open up early with a splash-decant, and should develop in the bottle for up to 10 years.
Tower Road Petite Sirah is a deeply colored wine that lays nearly opaque in the glass, with just a youthful ring of magenta to brighten its edges. The French oak bouquet of browned butter and toasted hazelnut frames the ripe blackberry aromas indicative of Petite Sirah varietal character. A rich and voluminous attack leaves black fruit and a touch of fine talc on the palate.
—Steve Peck, Red Winemaker
This wine pairs well with pan-seared meat dishes with aromatic herbs, such as rosemary lamb chops with roasted fennel.
Price: $35.00 750ml