Red Hills Lake County
October 16, 2010
16 months in French oak, 45% new
April 25, 2012
2010 Diener Ranch Petite Sirah Lake County
This beautiful red rock vineyard features fruit that creates a wine which tastes of the surrounding environment: aromas of cedar, brush, licorice and dust complement the blueberry and plum. The flavors are dusty chocolate, blackberry and cherry kirsch with a hint of herb. The acidity and tannin provide a backbone that goes on and on. This is a wine to lay down for a great reward of complexity and richness. For early consumption I suggest decanting a full hour before serving to allow for great expression of fruit and a softening of the tannin. I would pair this with a grilled Porterhouse steak with herbs.
The Diener Ranch is a 10 acre vineyard in the Red Hills district in Lake County. The site is situated in incredible deep, rocky, red volcanic soil, and at 2,000’ slopes toward Clear Lake. This hot, sun-drenched climate is tempered in the evening by breezes coming off the lake. The Diener boys tend carefully to this psychotic growing varietal – it’s aggressive in so many ways, but it cringes in too much direct sun. For the highest quality Petite, constant diligence is required. If you turn your back it will bite you.
The 2010 growing season in Lake County was picture perfect: loads of sunshine and moderate temps allowed for a long hang time to build complexity. We vinify the Diener Ranch Petite Sirah beginning with a four/five day cold soaks with 2x daily pump-overs followed by 2x daily vigorous punch downs. Once in the cellar the beatings begin for the Petite with quarterly rackings accompanied with splashing with air to manage the tannin profile and integrate the components. In between it rests in 45% new oak barrels for 17 months and is then bottled unfiltered.
"The 2010 Petite Sirah Diener Ranch is as dark and opaque as pen ink. Aromas of spring flowers, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur and a hint of oak emerge from this big, rich, impressive, highly extracted powerhouse (15.4% natural alcohol). Still tannic and youthful, this could easily be mistaken for a barrel sample. Forget it for 4-5 years and consume it over the following two decades." ~ WA, RP