2007 Petite Sirah, Ponzo Vineyard
Developed in France’s Rhone Valley in the 1870’s, Petite Sirah was a cross between the Sirah and a minor French variety called Peloursin. The tight bunches of small black berries were prone to rot in the humid climate of France’s Rhone Valley, and was soon abandoned. However, it is well adapted to the dryer California climate, where extended ripening time softens the tannin and brings out ripe fruit flavors. Ponzo Vineyard is located just outside the town limits of Healdsburg, along the Russian River at the mouth of Dry Creek. It’s gravelly bench-lands have produced many award winning wines. The 2007 growing season was very dry with a slow growing season and late harvest. We were able to pick after a heat spike, when sugar levels had dropped back down. This slowed ripening and the additional “hang time” on the vine led to exceptional flavor development. The 2007 Petite Sirah is inky dark with intense aromas of blueberries, berry pie, cherries, spice and vanilla oak. In the mouth it is rich and full bodied, with bright acidity and a slight astringency in the finish. This wine will soften and improve significantly over the next year or two with further cellaring. If you can’t wait, it is tasting great now!