2011 “Shake Ridge Ranch” Petite Sirah- LIBRARY
(750ml) 206 Cases Produced 15.1% Alc./Vol.
92Pts / Wine Enthusiast Magazine
American Fine Wine Awards “Double Gold”
San Francisco Chronicle Competition ” Silver” Medal, Feb 2015
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Aratas ‘Shake Ridge Ranch’ Petite Sirah is grown on the high ridge lands of the Sierra Foothills. This is the most prized vineyard land in Amador County.
Amador county is known for its hot dry climate but our grower’s spectacular ranch is planted to vine at elevations starting at 1650’and climbing rapidly to over 2000’ feet above sea level. Just two small lots produce a coveted amount of Petite Sirah. Not surprising, Shake Ridge Ranch vineyard commands the highest price for fruit in all of Amador county. While we are a Napa Valley producer, this stellar Petite Sirah crushes to become one of our most highly regarded crus. Both lots are clones obtained through the UC Davis Foundation services by renowned grower, Ann Kraemer and noted for their exceptional clone true to the varietal.
At this elevation, the vineyard experiences as much as a 50 degree diurnal temperature swing which intensifies the sugars in the fruit then drives the acid when temps drop precipitously fast after sunset. The unforgiving terrain has dramatic slope ranging 10-28% which sheds rain. Roots must dive deep to capture what they can thus each tiny berry produced hangs rich and concentrated in flavor.
Grower Kraemer’s vineyard management is extremely laborious.
As is typical for Ann’s vineyard management style, each row is scrutinized vine by vine then pruned just at the precipice of bud break. 2011 was exceptionally cool to start so the vines were pruned late in March, later than our Napa vineyard would typically experience. The small berry Petite is oriented NE – SW to safely protect against burn yet maximizes exposure to ripening rays. Crucial for development, the first drop took place in July. This allowed the plants as much time as possible to invest their best effort in the excessively low yields. Only the most evenly formed clusters will make the cut.
The granitic soils of the Sierras is a harsh environment for a grapevine. Just before veraison, when the fruit begins to develop the phenols that create complex aromatics, the vines are fed organic nutrients. Ann developed an organic nutrient program made from fish emulsion, chicken feathers and other stinky but healthy things. Harvest commenced as the temperature pendulum started to shift in the wee hours of October 15th. Picking on Shake Ridge Ranch is performed only at night by the light of headlamps; each vineyard worker maneuvering stealthy through the vines, one cluster at a time.
“Upon release, the 2011 Shake Ridge Petite Sirah should be allowed to awaken slowly, decanting will shake it gently from its slumber and is recommended. The aromatics are vibrant. After just a few minutes of fresh air, the palette opens with fleshy redolent flavors of baked rhubarb pie, raspberry tart, grilled duck breast and savory fig chutney. Aromas of wet earth after a hard rain, shaved chocolate, smoked harissa, and exotic spices developed while aging in Hungarian Oak for two years.
The flavors are well integrated and unfold in a pleasing manner along with a grippy finish. Drink now or let rest for a year if you will but enjoy the wine for its juicy nature now through 2024.” Stephanie Douglas, Vintner
100% Petite Sirah Root stock 101-14 / Clone PFS3 / Lots G & B-Lower
Precision Optical Sort, 5 day cold soak, aged 2 years in 50% New Trust Hungarian Oak, bottled unfiltered and unfined on native yeasts.
Harvest date Oct 15, 2011.
“Best Petites of 2015” Wine Spectator
92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
90 Points, Wine Spectator
“Gold Medal” American Fine Wine Awards
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