Rhone varietals thrive on the site of bonded winery #118, one of the earliest in Napa Valley.
Release in Fall 2022 | Download fact sheet
In its own valley, there is a vineyard east of Calistoga with a whole lot of history going back to pre-prohibition. Rumors of moonshining during prohibition are in the record books, and the surviving old vines of Petite Sirah are infamous. Palisades Vineyard (formerly Carver Sutro) lies in its very own valley, completely isolated from the rest of Napa Valley. The grapes obviously like it there or they wouldn’t have survived as long as they have. The new owners are fanatical (in all the right ways) about the farming of this historic site.
“I may be crazy for farming this way, but I did not want to just do what everyone else is doing. This unique property doesn’t speak to that.”
—Proprietor, Felicia Woytak
The 2018 Petite Sirah is another in the string of beastly Petite Sirahs to come from the Palisades vineyard. Again this is not just a little dark but intensely pitch black. This has a bit more sweet tannin profile to it than did the 2018 but still packed with the classic black berry, creosote, and meats. Not a lightweight at all but simply slightly more refined tannin profile. Still easily a 20+ year wine that will last longer than most people reading this release note.
The 2018 vintage was a slightly shorter vintage than 2017 so picking started earlier. The grape set was under ideal conditions in the Spring and lead into a warm but not unusually hot summer. The clusters on average were around normal size with a bit of the usual chicks and hens in this vineyard. We thinned less aggressively than in 2017 due to the slightly lighter set and these looser clusters. The more compressed season made it even more important to get the pick date just right to ensure that ripeness was achieved but over ripeness was avoided. This was on skins for slightly less time than the 2017 since it extracted a little more quickly and we didn’t want to over extract and pull in more dry tannins with a more extended maceration.
2018 was a very long and overall cool vintage which aided its longevity and hang time. The grape set was under ideal conditions in the Spring, and the clusters were picture perfect. Hollywood clusters, show offs; a beautiful set on these head pruned, shy bearing old vines. Long, long hang time, ideal fruit, no real heat spikes, and an even and long picking season.