Petite Sirah Dark & Delicious

Petite Sirah Dark & Delicious

Diamond Ridge Vineyards Petite Sirah 4-Pack
$64.99 $̶1̶1̶1̶.̶0̶0̶ 41% off List Price
2010 Petite Sirah, Lake County

R&B Cellars Pizzicato Napa Valley Petite Sirah 3-Pack
$67.99 $̶1̶0̶0̶.̶0̶0̶ 32% off List Price
2009 R&B Cellars Pizzicato Petite Sirah, Napa Valley

Occasio Livermore Valley Petite Sirah 2-Pack
$49.99 $̶8̶0̶.̶0̶0̶ 38% off List Price
2009 Occasio Petite Sirah, Del Arroyo Vineyard

Artezin Mendocino County Petite Sirah 4-Pack
$69.99 $̶1̶1̶9̶.̶0̶0̶ 41% off List Price
2010 Artezin Petite Sirah, Mendocino

Denier-Handal Alexander Valley Petite Sirah 3-Pack
$83.99 $̶1̶4̶0̶.̶0̶0̶ 40% off List Price
2009 Denier-Handal Vineyard, Alexander Valley Petite Sirah
2010 Denier-Handal Vineyard, Alexander Valley Petite Sirah

Oh Dark & Delicious is THIS weekend!

FWIW, if you haven’t tried the Denier-Handal PS you owe it to yourself to do so. A Mr. Peter Wellington did the blending & bottling and it shows. I like this stuff so much that out of the 94 cases of the 2009 made, I am just shy of having two cases. Wonderful Juice indeed!

Tempting. Noticed that the offer is one bottle of the '09 and two of the '10. Any chance anyone has any notes on the 2010?

The '10 is brand spanking new; today at D&D may be the first public pouring. I don’t have notes, but it was pretty dark & pretty delicious, and the bottle was gone pretty quickly.

Was hoping Stillman’s was on here. Need a case of that.

Anyone recommend anything else?

Check out our ARTEZIN Mendocino Petite Sirah, an intense wine with a luscious and velvety texture. Be happy to answer any questions!

•Appellation: Mendocino
•Blend: 97% Petite Sirah, 3% Zinfandel
•Harvest Dates: October 21-22, 2010
•Bottling Date: March 7, 2012
•Aging: 100% French Oak, once used
•Alcohol: 14.3%
•TA: 0.64 gms/100ml
•pH: 3.67

Thanks for joining. I’ll shoot with some questions.

  1. For a proper introduction, who are you? Winemaker? Marketing? Owner?

  2. All of the descriptions are basically screaming new world. Is this an in-your-face, fruit driven PS?

  3. Somewhere it mentions a “grip”; assuming that means tannins, which we all know can be very prevelant in PS. Is this more of a drink now sort of PS, or a “don’t touch this for 5-7 years” sort of PS? If drinking now, who long would say it should decant? If it should be held, how long do you think this will cellar?

  4. What does the 3% zin lend to this blend? Is trust a trademark to follow with the name? (ArteZIN)

  5. Based on the harvest and bottling dates, I’m guessing 15 months in 1 year french barrels? How much oak is there on the palate?

  1. My apologies! I am from the Marketing team, but to answer your questions best, I have reached out to our winemaker, Randle Johnson.

  2. I wouldn’t say this wine is necessarily “in-your-face” with fruit, however it does have both red and black fruit profiles. Definitely would say it is a very fruit forward and fruit driven wine.

  3. You can buy this wine and enjoy it now, but depending on your taste can age if preferred. If drinking now, it would benefit and open up a little from decanting for 30-45 minutes. If you are going to put it in the cellar, it will hang on for 5-7 years.

4)The 3% Zin acutally has a purpose! The Zin enhances the red fruit profile and aroma. It brings a little spice and zest to the wine.

5)The Artezin philosophy is to produce fruit driven wines with varietal expression, so we don’t tend to make wines with a very oak driven profile. There is a very low hint of oak from about 15 months in 100% French barrel 2nd or 3rd fill. No brand new oak on this wine.

Happy Wooting!

As winemaker for Diamond Ridge, I thought I’d explain a few things about the wine we’re offering.

Diamond Ridge Vineyards is a pretty interesting site for Petite Sirah. To begin with, Lake County in general is a great place to grow this variety because it is almost entirely fog-free. Petite Sirah has very tight clusters resembling a hand grenade, and is thin skinned as well, so it sour-rots very easily if there is fog or humidity. Lake County’s dry air minimizes rot and its thin air and full sun creates a high UV condition that not only suppresses mildew but also stimulates PS to make lavish quantities of anthocyanin pigments and the cofactors which help extract them.

Besides the attractive appearance of wines with good color, anthocyanins also contribute positively to texture. Petite Sirah’s high tannin levels can form in many directions, and left to themselves will polymerize into long chains which bind strongly to salivary proteins, resulting in wines which are harsh and dry with poor longevity. Anthocyanins cannot daisy-chain like other phenolics, and act like bookends on polymerization. The more color, the shorter the tannins. Short tannins have a more refined, silky impression which supports rather than masking flavors.

The downside of high sunlight is the potential to burn off fruit and cause raisining. In many Lake County sites, the wines have wonderful structure but limited aromatic expression. Not so at Diamond Ridge. Its location on a peninsula extending into the southeast corner of Clear Lake produces a lake effect which has us reaching for our sweaters every afternoon about 3 PM. Check out the videos on our website (URL below). Our 2010 possesses not only exceptional blueberry fruit, but also high-pitched lavender and rose notes characteristic of cool sites.

A final advantage of this site is its volcanic decomposed granite soil, which contributes considerable minerality to our wines. By this I do not mean a smell or taste of stone, but a sort of buzz in the finish which gives a liveliness to the palate and, in my experience, contributes considerable longevity.

Vital statistics:
100% Petite Sirah Clone 3
100% Diamond Ridge Vineyards, Clear Lake AVA
24.9 Brix at harvest, October 20th
Inoculated with Anchor N112 yeast
Fermented on 7 g/L untoasted Alliers chips (to promote color extraction)
6 weeks micro-oxygenation pre ML to stabilize color and structure
17 months in neutral French oak
Alcohol 14.1% (label says 14.5%)
TA 6.9 g/L, pH 3.78 at bottling

A dense violet color with a pure, fresh nose of blueberry laced with rose and lavender perfume, hints of sage and Ample tannins are dense, silky and firm, supporting rich blueberry flavors accented by firm acidity and a minerally finish. Restrained alcohol and very little apparent oak.

Requiring perhaps another five to eight years to soften its texture to silky velvet, the wine’s remarkable tannin structure, firm acidity and minerality indicate that it will continue to gain complexity for at least two more decades with proper cellaring.

I hope some of you who tasted this wine at Dark & Delicious can put in your two cents.

Diamond Ridge Vineyards is also home to the largest commercial-scale Cabernet Sauvignon clonal library in California, and produces an exceptional Cabernet Franc and Merlot, all of which are blended into our flagship Bordeaux-style called Aspects. These wines are available at

-Clark Smith

Mr Smith! Great to hear from you.

The Faux Chablis I picked up of yours a couple of years ago was good, and both bottles I had purchased were quickly drank at a seafood feast.

As always, an amazing amount of detail on the wine and the growing.

For those who don’t know who Clark Smith is - look him up. Go ahead, give him a quick google. And be open minded about his work, he hangs out with some of the other winemakers we know and love.

Enough gushing - given the descriptions here, I am very interested in hearing from anyone who sampled at D&D (sigh, maybe next year).

Given the statement that another 5 to 7 years of cellaring would see this wine melding better, if I was to open a bottle and decant a couple of hours, think I would be close? Just not sure I can buy, and not open one right away!

Thank you the wonderfully informative post.

WineSmith is in the house!

great seeing you and everyone at D & D last night.

alot of good wine and good fun.

Thanks to everyone last night for their kind comments. Is not Dark and Delicious the best event on the California wine calendar?

Did not mean to mislead you. As I’m sure comments of wooters who were there last night will attest, the 2010 is entirely delicious now. It’s just got a lot of longevity potential because it’s so well put together, its tannins fine but firm. Like any three-year-old child, its virtues are fresh and simple now, and despite its youthful intensity it will be completely charming in the right circumstances, by no means hard or withdrawn.

I only mean to say that this wine has a long road ahead of it, and will continually gain in complexity, refinement and richness. It may go through a disjointed patch in its teens as most of us do, but given a nurturing environment has all the elements to mature into something generous, poised and profound. In time it will gain refinement, complexity and richness.

But you really must check it out the starting point. At this price, I really recommend a case purchase so you can watch its development.

Do I mean through this analogy to imply that the wine could have a human-like life span? Perhaps I do. -Clark

Good news on Faux Chablis. We are setting up a wine.woot two-for-one “Double Dare” package in a couple of weeks. The point is for you to experience the incredible longevity of this wine. The 2003 is the current release – fresh and straw-green, just as a good 10-year-old Chablis should be, and the 2004, even more incredibly, is still a bit steely and not quite ready to drink! -Clark

Although DnD did not present the best opportunity for tasting notes, the Diamond Ridge PS was on my favorites list. Clark was awesome and it was a pleasure meeting him. He is seriously passionate about his craft! The minerality of this PS is awesome. I am definitely in, maybe for 8 bottles. Structured to go basically forever. Can’t wait to sit down with this wine over a meal.

Thanks again to Clark for the “bonus” wines as well. Delicious!

Agreed! Delicious now, but tons of potential for developing complexity.


Clark, I’ve never had the opportunity to try your wines. I’ve taken you recommendationand purchased a case. Can’t wait to try a bottle or two now and see how the rest develop over time.