David Fulton Winery & Vineyards
2007 Old Vines Petite Sirah
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is a spectacular example of Petite Sirah. Made from the oldest Petite vines in the state of California, this wine rises above our already high standards for the wines that we choose to feature.
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Mission Codename: Begin at the beginning
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate David Fulton Winery, at Napa Valley’s northern end, in the town of St. Helena. Secure an exclusive cache of their fabled Napa Valley Old Vine Petite Sirah
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: David Fulton Winery
Wine Subject: 2007 St. Helena – Napa Valley Petite Sirah
Backgrounder: St Helena, and most of Napa Valley for that matter, is dedicated to creating some of the world’s finest wines. When we heard about David Fulton’s St. Helena Petite Sirah, we dispatched Agent Red to investigate. Some of California’s oldest old-vine Petite Sirah are planted right here in 1860 by David Fulton, who established what is now the oldest, continually owned and family vineyard in the entire state of California.
Varietal Backgrounder: Petite Sirah’s California roots date back to when it was believed to be a close relative of the Syrah grape. Later it was found to be genetically identical to the Durif, named for its French discoverer François Durif who found that the varietal was a Syrah grape pollinated with Peloursin flowers. Its smaller berries with higher skin to pulp ratio leads to more intense flavors. Another benefit of the smaller berries are tighter clusters that are more resistant to mildew. Currently Petite Sirah is less popular in France and increasingly popular in the United States, thanks to the efforts of organizations like P.S. I Love You.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and inky purple, with a darker, almost solid core of purple-black. On Swirling, the entire inside of the glass is coated with color! This wall of purple eventually resolves into tightly packed, skinny legs that move slowly down the glass.
Smell – Lush and boldly fragrant, blackberry and boysenberry preserves leap from the glass. Red plum, raspberry and earthen cherry are close behind. As you inhale deeply (this wine encourages you to), additional aromas of Irish tea, spice, hard leather and candied cherry emerge.
Feel – Soft and supple on entry. Then, the wine reveals a medium-big body. Firm tannins support the wine, well into its long and pleasantly dry finish.
Taste – Bold and very flavorful, lead by blackberry, bramble, chocolate dust and black plum. Layered just below, we find ripe black cherry, spice, dried dark flower petals, dark-toasty oak and black pepper.
Finish – Ultra-long with blackfruit flavors that yield to red fruit, then spice. then, a soft dryness encroaches as black pepper makes a happy and lasting appearance.
Conclusion – Holy WOW! This is a fantastic Petite Sirah that we find no faults with. Big on the nose and on the palate, but with enough restraint to make it simultaneously elegant. This is a mouth-coating wine that delivers a great deal of flavor – without overpowering the palate, or sucking the life out of your mouth, as some Cali Petites are likely to do. This wine is darkly delicious and its bright acidity makes it a likely companion for a spiced meat dish or a plate of dried meats and strong cheeses. We found that sips of this wine, between bites, actually refreshes the palate. If you love Petite Sirah, you will really love this wonderful Old Vine example from our new friends at David Fulton Winery.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the David Fulton Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Consistent with previous years of dark color, richness, balance and elegance, this wine brings a hint of black berries, oak and cassis on the nose. Just what you’d expect from a 2007 vintage, there are layers of flavors ranging from bright fruits to a calming earthy nature that jump onto your palate. Here you’ll find boysenberry, red raspberry, leather, cloves and black tea to tickle your fancy. Midway, a lovely, soft texture rolls off into a surprise finish with a tiny more grip at the end in comparison to previous vintages. Slightly less than 500 cases will be there to greet an ever increasing demand for this year’s prize both for the eager-beavers and the more patient ones willing to hold off a dozen years for bottle bouquet to develop.
Growing Season: The year began dry with some cold days, and the season continued dry, about 60% of normal precipitation. Temperatures were warmer than normal as winter continued into spring. The summer continued on the mild to cool side with one brief period of heat spikes around Labor Day. The crop was notably smaller due to the dry season. Sugar levels did accelerate the last week of August. The vintage was below average in terms of yields, but very promising quality.
About The Winery:
Here, at David Fulton Winery, we invite you to fall in love … with our Petite Sirah! Our vineyards, originally planted in 1860, produce less than 350 cases of Petite Sirah a year. This dry-farmed, estate vineyard is the oldest, continuously owned and operated family vineyard not only in Napa Valley but all of California.
We are located at 825 Fulton Lane, just four blocks east of Hwy 29, in Napa Valley’s historic St. Helena. We don’t have any commercial signage, so you’ll have to look for our address (825 Fulton Lane) to enjoy our winery’s private setting!
We encourage you to seek us out when in the Napa Valley and fall in love! If you can’t make it to the winery, feel free to sample our award-winning Petite Sirah in the comfort of your own home by ordering online or simply joining our wine club.