2006 Bavarian Lion Vineyard Petite Sirah
Petite Sirah •Bavarian Lion Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Knights Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Great Toothbrush Incident
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Operative’s favorite, Adobe Road Winery, and return with their newest Petite Sirah
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Adobe Road Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Adobe Road Petite Sirah – Knights Valley, Bavarian Lion Vineyard
Winemaker: Michael Scorsone
Backgrounder: Sonoma County’s Knight’s Valley sits at the easternmost edge of the County, far from the cooling of the Pacific Ocean. The fact that this high benchland AVA (American Viticultural Area) gets so much hot sun during the growing season makes it the perfect region for growing richly extracted Petite Sirah. For today’s wine, Agent Red returns to our old friends, Adobe Road Winery, and he returns with their extraordinarily flavorful and drinkable 2006 Knight’s Valley Petite Sirah. Read about Agent Reds interview with Adobe winemaker, Michael Scorsone, following his tasting notes below
Petite Sirah’s California roots dates back to when it was believed to be a close relative of the Syrah grape. Later it would be found to be genetically identical to the Durif, named for its after 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.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and brooding dark purple with a deeper inky heart. When swirled, this wine has a softly springy surface that settles quickly, leaving behind tight-packed clusters of some of the longest and skinniest legs I have even seen on a petite!
Smell – A bright rush of red and black fruit race up to tickle your nose. Aromas of bright Bing cherry and red raspberry are doled out in equal proportion with dark mixed berries with a certain authentic wallop of wild blackberry, right off the vine. These smells sit right atop aromas of soft eucalyptus, casis and delightfully fresh forest floor
Feel – A very wet wine intitially with a coolness that feels refreshing. Then, after a few moments, fine grained tannins go to work, quickly drying the tongue and the roof of the mouth
Taste – Richly layered, balanced with bright and darkly concentrated flavors of bright cherry, underripe strawberry, raspberry with darker flavors of ripe black plum, jammy roasted blackberry and blueberry, cassis, dark cherry and a hint of sweet dried fall leaves
Finish – Initially dry, this wine goes long with darker flavors and then its bright flavors return, making the mouth absolutely water!
Conclusion – We are huge fans of great Petite Sirah, so when a really great one comes along, we get really excited. Today’s wine represents one of the most balanced Petite Sirah’s I can recall. Where many PS’s are rife with oak or over-the-top concentrated fruit, this one is more lighthearted. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of character and flavor present in this great wine. The fruit and the feel are what really impress, though. With a brightness and a sweetness that makes the wine a delicious delight to sip, this wine wine shows off its fruit – without allowing it to be overpowered by harsh tannins or big oakiness like other Petite’s. If you love brightly authentic fruit flavors, balanced against darker flavors, this is a wonderful wine for you. The unique and evolving feel is also a big draw, as is the dynamic finish. We paired this wine with a variety of snacks, including hard cheeses, dried meats and brick-oven pizza. It worked beautifully with everything. Today’s wine get’s my highest recommendation for any fan of great Petite Sirah.
Today we are very pleased to bring you an interview with the very busy winemaker for Adobe Road Winery, Michael Scorsone:
AGENT RED: Greetings, Michael. We are thrilled to be showing your newest Dry Creek Zin today. The wine is great. Thanks so much for the wine, and for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today. I don’t know if you know this, but Adobe Road has the distinction of being the winery we have featured the most during the last two years. We’re that impressed with your work!
MICHAEL SCORSONE: Thanks, Red, my pleasure to spend a few minutes with you today.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MICHAEL: Growing-up in an Italian Family, attending the C.I.A, Being a professional chef.
RED: C.I.A.?! By that, you mean the Culinary Institute of America and not that other spy agency. Tell me this, where did you learn the most about winemaking?
MICHAEL: I learned a lot through previous jobs and schooling, Traveling and working in Italy, France, New Zealand. However, anyone can learn to make wine. It’s personality and philosophy that sets us apart.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
MICHAEL: Let the wines show character and personality. A strong sense of vineyard location. Show tradition…but not afraid to take chances. Don’t make the wine into something it’s not.
RED: Porsche racing legend, Kevin Buckler, owns the winery. How much input does he have during the winemaking process?
MICHAEL: Kevin has a great pallet! He is always tasting with us and giving input. He definitely brings something to the table.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
MICHAEL: ’09 will be my 8th vintage.
RED: Excellent. And who do you make wine for?
RED: Right answer! Tell me, what makes the Napa Valley so special?
MICHAEL: The people
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
MICHAEL: It is a lifestyle…not just a job! You have to love it and be passionate about farming and winemaking. Yes.. it is romantic, but it is very hard work.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MICHAEL: Traveling …… You have to sell the stuff too!!!!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
MICHAEL: Lots of fresh black plumb and sweet baking spices. This wine is from very old vines in the hills of dry creek.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
MICHAEL: If I tell you….then everyone will know.
RED: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
MICHAEL: I love “Burgundy” I also love to find cheap random “old-world” wines that are usually overlooked.
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
MICHAEL: With a corkscrew, a glass, and a willing attitude!
RED: Nice! If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
MICHAEL: Wow !!!! I could go crazy trying to narrow that down to one wine. Probably some older Domain Dujac from Burgundy
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
MICHAEL: Shaken…….not stirred and long walks on a beach
RED: Interesting… Well, Michael, thank very much for spending this time with me. Keep up the great work, we continue to be big fans!
MICHAEL: Thanks, Red!
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This wine has a deep, dark purple color and a smooth, balanced texture. Bright plum and blueberry tastes mix with Gingerbread spice making a rich entry into the mouth. Hints of chocolate and hazelnut combine with bursts of cherry. This berrylicious wine glides across your tongue leaving your mouth in lust for another sip of petite perfection.
Winemaking: Hand harvested whole clusters that were cold soaked and fermented in small, open-top bins that were punched down twice daily through fermentation and gently basket pressed. Unfined and unfiltered.
About The Winery:
Adobe Road is a small, family-owned winery located in Petaluma. We specialize in flavorful, distinctive wines. Each of our vintages is handcrafted with fine attention to detail, for a unique taste and experience. Our wines are created in small lots, allowing precise quality control to ensure that every bottle is just the way our wine artisans intended. Traditionally, Adobe Road has produced rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but 2006 brings a lighter Sauvignon Blanc to our tasting room.
Adobe Road Winery is owned by renowned sports car racer and entrepreneur Kevin Buckler and his wife, Debra. Adobe Road Winery produces award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petite Sirah exclusively from Sonoma County sources. The tasting room is located in Petaluma, California. In 1995 Kevin founded The Racer’s Group (TRG) and grew it into an internationally prominent manufacturer and distributor of performance Porsche parts, while simultaneously building a career as a successful endurance sportscar racer and team owner. Kevin’s accomplishments as a driver include class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002. As a team owner, Kevin has directed the growth of The Racer’s Group into an internationally-acclaimed racing team.
With friends, the Bucklers started making “garage wine”, which, after prodding from enthusiastic friends started commercially bottling under the Adobe Road label in 1999. Through Kevin’s good connections, he has acquired grapes from some very prestigious vineyards, which he handcrafts into extremely limited-production wines. The awards have followed, with the Adobe Road 2001 Zinfandel winning a Silver medal in the prestigious Orange County Fair Wine Competition. In March of 2005, Adobe Road brought home the gold, with the 2002 Pinot Noir winning a Gold Medal – Best of Class; the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon placing Silver and the 2002 Zinfandel receiving Bronze at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With the goal of producing exceptional wines by hand-crafting small lots of red varietals exclusively from Sonoma County, the Bucklers have dedicated themselves to seeing their vision through to reality, and the results are paying off.
Appellation: Knights Valley
Vineyard Sources: Bavarian Lion Vineyard
Release: July 2009
Bottled: May 2009
Production: 250 Cases