2008 Little Stone Vineyards Petite Sirah

shot_1336011964578The 2008 Little Stone Vineyards Petite Sirah is sourced from grapes grown in California’s North Coast. The North Coast is composed of 6 counties (Napa, Lake and 4 others) and 44 grape growing AVA’s (including Napa Valley, Mendocino, Sonoma). Little Stone Vineyards is a “virtual winery,” Larry Palmerson a wine professional from the Chicago area, used his contacts to purchase grapes, hire a winemaker and contracted with a custom wine producing facility (in this case Wine Trees, Graton,Ca.) for the use of their facilities and equipment, and voila, you got first class wine. Virtual wineries are common in California and can produce superior wines. As a small wine business, Little Stone Vineyards does not update their website very often, so there is no information available on the making of this wine, though as a 2008 vintage is must have had fairly lengthy aging in oak barrels. The alcohol content is 13.4%.

The color is inky, dark and opaque crimson, not too far off from being more black than red. The nose is plums, a little port wine, raisin and baking brownies. This is a dark, brooding wine, no bright juicy red berries here, it starts extracted blackberry, stewed plums, dark 80% cocoa chocolate, black Twizzlers and orange zest. The mid palate softens things up with vanilla cream, tart cherry and a late wallop of black pepper. The tannins are strong, but well controlled, they don’t bite. The finish is strong and though it fades quickly, a faint echo lingers on for quite some time.

The Little Stone Vineyards Petite Sirah is made to be paired with a nice thick, juicy steak cooked on the grill or for sharing while sitting around the fire pit on a chilly summers night.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.