2016 Aratas “Napa Valley” Petite Sirah
“BEST IN CLASS” and unanimous “DOUBLE GOLD” Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition awarded Aratas with 99Points as the highest rated Petite Sirah. It was no petite feat as Aratas Wine was judged the best against 2800+ wines from around the world.
This vintage hails from grapes grown on Bald Mountain along the Mayacamas mountain range.
We know this land well as one of our first wines produced before the launch of the brand came from this very vineyard. The site is notable for it’s staggering views of both Sonoma to the west, Napa Valley to the east as well as of Mt. Tamalpais to the south. As typical for us, we allow our wines to express the provenance of terroir through single vineyard bottlings. This wine is produced from 100% Petite Sirah planted to vine on the Bald Mountain neighbor to on Mt. Veeder.
About the Vineyard
The south-facing vineyard sits at nearly 2000 feet above sea level. It’s the highest planted vineyard in Napa Valley in fact. In the early morning the old vines often find themselves above the fog line so they benefit from long sun filled days. Dry farmed and naturally low yielding; the vineyard grows in shallow, well drained sedimentary soil of marine origin and sandy loam. Influenced by the cooling effects of the San Pablo Bay, the vines benefited from an extended growing season which resulted in superior concentration of flavor and balance.
This wine was hand harvested, dual sorted by hand then thinned once again for quality by Selectiv’ optical sorting technology. We fermented the must in small bins using hand punch down methods following 5 days of cold soak on dry ice. The juice was gently pressed off to age in 30% new Hungarian Oak for 28 months then bottle aged in cellar for an additional 18 months before release. This wine is sealed with Lafitte natural cork.
Updated October 21, 2020: How could we know this wine would become a capsule in time.
We have been fans of this mountaintop vineyard for many, many years. In 2016 we were finally offered the opportunity to obtain American Heritage Petite Sirah from gnarly old vines planted in the Bald Mountain vineyard. A steep slope side vineyard straddling the ridge between Napa and Sonoma; it is said to be the highest planted in the valley. The soaring views are endless. It soaks up miles of cool sunshine from its apex above the fogline and it’s the last place to toast the sun as it sets over the Mayacamas mountain range every evening. The growing season here is long, the soils rocky and the fruit is rich and redolent.
The 2016 would be our one and only vintage from the stunning site we waited for so long. Our excitement turned to sadness when the fires of 2017 engulfed the vineyard the following year. So after four years of aging, we eagerly anticipated the first sip and announced the release of this award winning wine on the morning of Sept 28th…later that very day, the Glass Fire of 2020 would consume our home. Our bungalow nestled in the woods was built the same year we crushed our very first vintage. The irony is heartbreaking.
We will treasure this wine for all the memories bottled up inside and pop each cork with hope and anticipation for what is yet to come. We hope you’ll savor every sip of our Aratas 2016 Napa Valley Petite Sirah and raise a toast to the special memories and moments in your world. You’ll never know what lies ahead so open the cellar and celebrate your most meaningful moments with our very best wines.
100% Petite Sirah
Aged 28 months in 30% New Trust Hungarian Oak barrels M+
Fermented on native yeasts. Bottled unfiltered, unfined
Best to drink before 2036 Optimal time to open 2021-2035
Winemaker: Matt Sunseri/ Vintner: Stephanie Douglas/ Grower: Joe Votek
Harvested by hand: September 30, 2016 14.7% Alc./Vol.
Press and Ratings ___________________________________
99 Points “Best in Class” Award Sunset International Wine Competition
96 Points “Best of Napa Valley” St Helena Star/ Napa Valley Vintners Tasting *
90 Points Wine Enthusiast, Virginie Boone
“GOLD MEDAL” Hilton Head Food & Wine Competition
* To read the full results including the white wines read the Wine Industry Network Advisor press release here: https://wineindustryadvisor.com/2020/07/02/sunset-international-wine-competition-2020-announces-results
CA residents: Gov’t WARNING: Drinking distilled spirits,beer,coolers,wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65warnings.ca.gov/alcohol