2014 Petite Sirah
Diener Ranch, Lake County, CA
What we love
It doesn’t get much inkier than Petite Sirah, and this opaque, almost oil-black 2014 from Merisi is no exception. It’s big and bold, with dense blackberry and plum, beef jerky, mocha, and dark chocolate from its aging in oak barrels. While full-bodied and rich, it is very nicely balanced by fresh acidity and dusty, firm tannins that frame the wine beautifully. From slow-cooked brisket to smoked sausages, rich braises, and grilled steaks, dishes for carnivores will always please the Petite Sirah drinker.
About this Wine
Petite Sirah is a California specialty that doesn’t get enough attention. Merisi’s very impressive boutique bottling is a great way to acquaint yourself with this under-appreciated variety.
First off, there’s nothing “petite” about Petite Sirah – it’s a big, bold wine, and a grape variety which, while ‘born’ in France, has become almost exclusively associated with California. The best examples tend to be small-production, under-the-radar bottlings like this very exciting find.
With its deep color, rich texture and bold flavors, Merisi’s Lake County Petite Sirah will make everyone a fan of cheering for the underdog. Enjoy!
100% Petite Sirah; naturally fermented and barrel aged for 21 months in 50% new French oak.
Drink now through 2028.
15.3% alc | 750ml
Merisi Wines was started by Mandy and Nick Donovan and their shared love for the wines of Northern California and to show their vision of the best of what this region can produce. “Merisi Wines are our attempt to be true to the grapes we harvest, reflect the vineyard and excite at the dinner table.”
As the winemaker, Mandy thoughtfully sources fruit from boutique, sustainably-farmed vineyards, farmed and cared for by the same families for generations and harvests to showcase each site’s distinctiveness. Each vineyard and growing season has its own unique variability, and Merisi's goal is to capture the positive nuances that come from these differences. "We like to think of it as the personality of the fruit.”
Though driving to an industrial warehouse complex in Sonoma's south side wine ghetto, where Mandy crafts her wine, might seem mismatched to a winemaking style that strives to best understand and represent the vineyards and growers whose fruit are sourced for each edition of wine, it quickly becomes apparent from Mandy's recounting of how each wine came to be that she is serious about delivering on her ideals.
Whether it is the Jenkins family whose Pinot Gris grown in their own backyard on a chilly slope on the Sonoma side of Carneros, or the three current generations of a four generation Mendocino family who dry farms their Petite Sirah on 50 dusty acres, Mandy Donovan's intimate connection to way that her grapes are farmed before they are entrusted to her care belies a humility that marks her winemaking style.
Using the timeless winemaking style of "less is more," Merisi Wines aims to evoke a sense of passionate realism. "Daring to be different if that means pursuit of quality and honest interpretation."
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