Syrah •Perelli-Minetti Vineyard
California: San Luis Obispo: Edna Valley
What We Say
DEAL ALERT! Today we are very pleased to bring you a very special value – on a very small quantity of wine. Today’s wine, a fantastic Syrah from winemaker Stephen Pessagno, pleases us on so many levels. With the holidays coming soon, this is a great wine to stock up on as it pairs with almost all holiday meals.
TOP SECRET EXCLUSIVE: Today we have a very special wine for our operatives. We were able to sleuth out another exclusive wine, this time from Pessagno Winery. This great Syrah is not available for sale anywhere but the winery’s tasting room – and here. We are offering today’s wine at 35% off its average retail price with free shipping on Six bottles (use promo code SPYSHIP)
Mission Codename: Generations
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Uncover the secrets of multi-generation winemaker Stephen Pessagno and multi-generation winegrower Bill Perelli-Minetti
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Pessagno Winery
Wine Subject: 2004 Syrah, Perelli-Minetti Vineyard
Winemakers: Stephen Pessagno
Stephen Pessagno has a reputation for creating great wines from his Monterey County estate-grown grapes – and from grapes grown by master growers in many different regions. One such grower is 94 year-old Bill Perelli-Minetti, a 5th generation grape grower that tends his own vineyards in Paso Robles, California. The combination was reputed to be magical and The Wine Spies dispatched Agent Red to sample the results of the combined love and talents that forged this wonderful Syrah.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby color with a dark but clear center and glinting edges with think and widely space legs
Smell – Plum, raisin, butterrum candy and light white pepper
Feel – Smooth and lightweight with medium tannins
Taste – Just-ripe red plum, white pepper, with a tart-sweet cherry and berry flavor
Finish – Lingering cherry and subtle pepper. Dry all over the mouth, including the teeth with flavors that fall of slowly
Conclusion – I am always so pleased when I can spy a great wine that is priced below comparable wines, especially when that wine gives a little something extra as this one does. With great character in its smells, tastes and feel, this wine has wonderful balance and the structure to pair with a wide variety of foods. I enjoyed a glass with a grilled tritip sandwich and a Cesar salad. Delicious.
Wines that are produced by multi-general producers have never failed to please me. When wine runs in the veins and techniques are passed from father to son, the results are usually spectacular. I hesitate to call this a budget-minded wine, but, hey, it is a great value. What are you waiting for? Stock up now, my secret agents, and enjoy this great Syrah.
Top Secret business forces me to keep this briefing, brief.
I learned of Pessagno wines from my assets, field operatives that feed me intel on wineries. When I looked for Pessagno wines in local wine shops, I discovered that they were difficult to find. Where I did find Pessagno wines were in the finer restaurants, especially in California. This forced me to press the Wine Spies Platinum Amex into service at my favorite 4-star restaurant. Its a tough life and all that…
Well, one fine meal and a bottle of today’s Syrah later and I was convinced that they tales of greatness were all true. Magic is made when multi-generational experience is brought to bare on the craft of growing and making fine wines.
Just today I had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Pessagno and his dedicated staff at his winery. Stephen, fresh from a recent harvest and crush, was smoking turkey outside the winery when I arrived. The smell was immense and wonderful and the folks in the tasting room feared that the smell would interfere with our tasting. On the contrary, this wine came through just beautifully with its refined aromas and flavors.
This is not a big, sweet, fruit-bomb of a Syrah. Rather, this is a more elegant and light-hearted wine that shows off with its softness and great flavors.
I was able to secure the wineries remaining stock of this wine, so be sure to requisition some before Central Command runs out.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Pessagno tasting room and vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo
What the Winery Says
The Vineyard Perelli-Minetti Vineyard is located in the warmer est-side region of Paso Robles, characterized by warm days and moderate evenings. At age 94, Bill Perelli-Minetti is personally responsible for every aspect of grape growing. A fifth generation winemaker himself, he single-handedly prunes, cultivates and tends to each vine on the eight acre vineyard.
The Vintage The early part of March surprised us all with 13 consecutive days above 80 degree F, causing budbreak to occur early in all varieties. After this heat spell broke we entered a period of four months of below average temperatures, slowing maturation in the vineyard to a snails pace. Mother Nature changed her mind in the first week of September with unseasonably high temperatures for the remainder of the harvest. As a result, harvest was compressed into a few hectic weeks where everything ripened at the same time.
*Tasting Notes * As a tribute to Bill’s amazing legacy in the wine industry we made a small lot of wine from his newest of vineyards. Characteristically soft and supple for Syrah grown in warmer climates, this wine displays red cherry and plum flavors while a hint of French oak is evident in the aroma. Pair this wine with medium to hearty dishes, especially winter comfort foods such as braised meats and stews.
About Pessagno Pessagno Winery fulfills a twenty-year dream of winemaker Stephen Pessagno to produce limited quantities of exclusive luxury wines from prestigious single vineyards throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties.
The inspiration for Pessagno Winery is attributed to Stephen’s grandfather, Anthony Escover, who introduced him to winemaking on the family’s Santa Clara Valley ranch in 1974. “How vividly I remember crushing overripe Zinfandel grapes - stems and all - into 500 gallon redwood tanks, and I’ll never forget the enticing aroma that filled the barn during fermentation,” Stephen recalls.
During a successful career as a Mechanical Engineer, Stephen’s relentless passion for making wine continued to grow. This home hobby, however, quickly outgrew the confines of his garage. It was in 1982 that he decided to experience wine making from the ground up and worked the “crush” at Kirigin Cellars, a small winery in Gilroy.
Since earning a degree in Enology from California State University at Fresno in 1986, Stephen has been Vice President and Winemaker for Jekel Vineyards, and since 1991, for Lockwood Vineyards.