Peterson Winery

2005 Sangiovese Il Granaio


California: Sonoma County: Dry Creek Valley

Offer Expired:Aug 04, 2009 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Codename: The Barn

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Operative favorite, Peterson Winery. Secure their Il Granaio Sangiovese, a wine that is much sought-after by their club members

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Peterson Winery

Wine Subject: 2005 Peterson Il Granaio Sangiovese

Winemaker: Jamie Peterson


Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley is a treasure trove of great wines. While The Wine Spies have been trying to keep from acquiring too many wines from the region when the wines are great, so why not? Today’s selection is a delicious blend of 86% Sangiovese and 16% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Varietal Backgrounder"

The most widely planted grape in all of Italy, Sangiovese is used in everything from blended inexpensive table wines like Chianti, to the finest Super Tuscans. Italian immigrants introduced this varietal to the U.S. in the 1800’s. First plantings of this grape in the Sonoma County region were legendary and today, some of the most exciting California Sangiovese are found there. For today’s wine, Agent Red received a secret dispatch from most trusted confidential informants. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes on this great wine, followed by his mission report, to learn more about today’s old-world-in-California wine

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – A beautiful dark garnet color, with perfect concentration right out to the fine ruby-colored edges of the wine, When swirled, the surface of the wine appearance soft and bouncy, settling fast – but retaining a spinning core that continues to swirl right at the absolute center of the glass. While the core is still spinning, slender legs slowly make their way down the edges of the glass

Smell – Rich and earthy, medium bold in intensity, with warm aromas of dark cherry, dark stone fruit, spicy vanilla bean, soft Italian espresso, spice, subtle dried meats and a hint of fresh salad herbs

Feel – Soft and medium-weight on entry, then a balanced boldness ramps up, taking hold at the mid-palate with mouth-coating warmness that spreads to fill the entire palate, showing off supple, fine-grained tannins and a hint of smoke

Taste – Dark and rich, with flavors of black fruit, earthy-spicy cherry, dark mixed berries with prominent blueberry that gently rises above the rest. Add to these authentic flavors, follow-on tastes of raisin, dried violets and a hint of subtle espresso

Finish – Dark and long-lingering, leading off with dark fruits and finally finishing off with sweet and slightly tart flavors

Conclusion – The 2005 Peterson Winery Il Granaio Sangiovese is an instant Wine Spies classic. We are huge fans of Peterson wines and we have tremendous spy-respect for the father-son team of Fred and Jamie Peterson. Today’s wine is a shining example of just how great this winemaking pair can be. This Sangiovese is a deeply delicious wine that invites experimentation and encourages discussion. It also pairs with almost anything – but especially anything Italian. We enjoyed our review bottles with spaghetti and fresh-tomato basil sauce. Enjoy this wine now, and lay a few bottles down for a few years to see just how well Peterson wines progress.

Mission Report:

Learn how Agent Red first became aware of Peterson Winery, which is now a Wine Spies favorite in the Dry Creek Valley – in this mission recap:

Today’s wine was one of those happened upon discoveries. You know, the sort that you find almost by accident.

I was making a pickup at one of my dead-drops in the Dry Creek Valley. A local asset had left me samples to consider for a future mission. When I got to the spot, I found a small parcel, obviously not large enough to contain wine. I grabbed it and walked toward my car, all the while making certain that I was not being followed.

On opening the parcel, I found a hand-written note inside:

This location compromised. Proceed to [REDACTED] for the package.

I entered the coordinates into my GPS and made my way to the new drop. On arrival, I scanned the area. Not a person in sight. I proceeded on foot and retrieved the package. It was then that I noticed what appeared to be a a winery across the valley.

Sample bottles safely stowed, I decided to investigate.

“Peterson Winery” read the sign on the building. My pulse quickened. Peterson was a name that had come up a few times recently. I had meant to place them under proper surveillance, but had not had the time to schedule a mission. I got out of the car for a closer look.

I scanned the area, making note of all point of ingress and egress. A good spy should be able to make a quick getaway if needed.

“Are you here to taste some wines today?”

I spun around to see a young man, perhaps in his 20’s. I played along.

“Sure,” I said.

And so the tasting began. We tasted through the range of the wines, and when we got to the fabulous Shinbone, I made the decision – right then and there – to reveal myself and procure the wine for our Operatives.

“Listen,” I said. “I can get this on the calendar next week. Can you move that fast?”

The young man, who turned out to be Jamie Peterson, the winemaker and son of founder/owner Fred Peterson, quickly agreed to allow us access to the wine.

I left with samples, and flash forward two days to the present… Viola! This excellent and very exciting wine is available to you today, dear Operative. If you love big, expressive, juicy, delicious and robust wines, this one is certain to please.

Wine Spies Winery Check:

The location of the Peterson Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

Il Granaio, Peterson’s version of a super Tuscan Sangiovese, offers both wine lovers and foodies a great match for anything Italian, and a multitude of other cuisines. Robust aromas of spicy berry and pepper mingle with sweet vanilla and earthy undertones. Tart and spicy cherry flavors blend with the essence of coffee, blueberries, vanilla and smoky plum. The underlying earthy structure of acid and tannins provides the ideal complement to a host of hearty fare.

About Peterson Winery:

We are located in the Dry Creek Valley, in the northwest region of Sonoma County. Peterson Winery’s new tasting room is now open for wine tasting and sales daily 11am-4:30pm. We often pour our wines at local tasting and charity events as well. Check for upcoming events on the News & Events page.

Our wines are also available for tasting at the “LOCALS” tasting room in Geyserville. See for directions and details. Click on the “Find Us” link for a map to the winery and to LOCALS in Geyserville.

If you have any questions about Peterson Winery or our wines, send us an e-mail at and we’ll respond as soon as we can.

We can’t tell our whole story here, but we hope that by looking at a few photos and reading a bit more about us, you’ll find out who we are and why we love to make great wines.

About The Winemaker:

Jamie Peterson – It’s not by coincidence that I’m the winemaker at Peterson Winery. I’ve been helping my father at the winery for the past ten years, back to the days of labeling the bottles by hand. I worked two harvests here at the winery, in 2000 and 2001, and the 2001 harvests Down Under in Australia at Lowe Family Winery, and then in New Zealand, at Ngatarawa Winery. With this solid base of experience, much to my excitement I was given the opportunity of taking over winemaking duties in June 2002, and have been loving it ever since.

Overseeing the quality of the wine from when the grapes come in all the way through to the bottle is my main responsibility and priority. Since it’s just my father and I, this keeps me pretty busy, but when I’m not checking up on barrels or wrestling with the bottling equipment, you can often find me at one the numerous tasting events we attend, whether it is for charity or for the love of wine. In my free time, I’ve started a Peterson Winery softball team with my friends here in Healdsburg. I also enjoy cooking, foraging for local culinary mushrooms, reading, and am a Giants baseball fan. Continuing winemaking tradition of Zero Manipulation.

Technical Analysis:

Composition: 100% Dry Creek Valley 86% Sangiovese, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol: 14.6%

pH: 3.35

TA: 0.74g/100ml

Barrel Aging: 24 months

Type of Oak: 14% new French oak barrels, 86% 2-5 year-old French oak barrels.

Production: 250 cases

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