Once & Future
The Palisades Vineyard is planted in the northern Napa Valley in the town of Calistoga. This is Petite Sirah heaven: The cobbly loam soil of the alluvial fan is perfect for the variety. Hot summers, cool westerly morning breezes, extended sunlight and adequate winter rainfall bless the fruit with exceptional concentration and depth. Viticulture here dates back to 1878, when James Horn, a settler from Scotland, first planted grapes; in 1908, Domenico and Gilda Barberis, recent arrivals from Italy, planted more vines along Horn’s Creek. Seven years later, they established “Bonded Winery Number 118” on the site. In the 90s the property was bought by Anne Carver and Denis Sutro who farmed the property, preserved the Petite Sirah and, as importantly, preserved the beautiful character of the Palisades by putting the 500 acres directly below the massif into a land trust. In 2015 Felicia Woytak and her husband Steven Rasmussen became the newest owners.
Coobly loam soils
The grapes are fermented in 6 ton, open top, redwood fermenters (orginally used at Ravenswood) using all native yeasts. Hand punchdowns are employed
aged for 15 months in a French oak with 40% being new
Deep, opaque, and blue blackish in color. Perfume like scents of Sandalwood, clove, cinnamon, black pepper and smoke lead to a bright, full, though not ponderous, mouthfeel with surprisingly refined fine tannins and a long complex finish. This is Napa Petite Sirah singing a beautiful, lyrical, high pitched song.
Joel Peterson's 2015 Petit Sirah Palisades Vineyard captures all the personality and pedigree of this great Calistoga site. Blue and purplish-hued stone fruit notes abound. Peterson has tamed the typically ferocious young Petite tannins nicely. Wild flowers, smoke and licorice wrap around the intense, inky finish. This is a gorgeous wine from one of Napa Valley's most prestigious and pedigreed Petite Sirah vineyards.
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