2004 Stags’ Leap Winery Petite Syrah
petite Syrah, or Petite Sirah, is considered a lesser grape, as the name implies. We beg to differ! Petite Sirah can be big, rich and complex simply try the 2004 Stags’ Leap Winery Petite Syrah to taste the proof. This grape is known for its massive dark raspberry flavor, but this wine is not just a fruit bomb. This luscious red has white pepper, dark oak, a blueberry-raspberry body and fine tannins on the finish. Dark chocolate notes and a silky, lush texture show off the huge extraction, almost black in color. This wine is great with roasts, steaks, blue cheese, chocolate and figs. Sounds about right for Valentine’s Day, eh?Winemaker Kevin Morissey and his predecessor, Robert Brittan, use a field blend for this wine. With Petite Syrah, the vineyard is often planted with other grapes that complement its flavors. The 2004 Stags’ Leap is a blend of 78 percent Petite Syrah, 15 percent Syrah, 4 percent Grenache, 1 percent Viognier (that’s right, a white grape, commonly blended with Syrah in the Cote Rotie region in the Rhone Valley), 1 percent Carignane and 1 percent Mourvedre. Whew! The blend is concocted, then aged for 18 months in mainly neutral oak barrels. Neutral oak means older barrels that impart little if any oak flavor to the wine. This type of aging softens the wine without adding a huge, oaky component.Horace and Minnie Mizner Chase founded the property in 1893, making wine and hosting socialites from San Francisco on the weekends. By the 1930’s, the property had fallen into disrepair, only to be revived by Carl Doumani in 1971. Currently, Stags’ Leap Winery farms 90 acres of vineyard on a 240-acre estate. This wine costs around $40.
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