The 2016 DR Petite Sirah grew its shoulders back when compared to the more elegant 2015. With all the complexity and richness of its predecessor, the 2016 is more angular lending itself to a very long lifetime. The aromas are of kirsch, black pepper, wild bramble fruit, brush, and a hint of scorched earth. On first taste the aromas come through adding in some chocolate and spice. The DR has the tannin you would expect in a young Petite and will reward you with an hour of aeration. Our Petite Sirahs age well for 15+ years.
The Diener Ranch is a 10 acre vineyard in the Red Hills district in Lake County. This site possesses 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 that come 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, but when afforded proper attention the wines are compelling.
The 2016 growing season in Lake County as well as most of the North Coast was historically early. With an early bud break there is always the threat of frost damage, but the growing season turned out nearly perfect with exceptional sunshine absent the normal extreme temperatures. We vinify the Diener Ranch beginning with a four/five day cold soaks with 2x daily pump-overs followed by 2x daily vigorous punch downs. With Petite one of the main challenges is to moderate the tannin profile. Once in the cellar the beatings begin for the Petite with quarterly rackings accompanied with splashing with air to moderate the tannins and develop integrate the components. In between it rests in 45% new oak barrels for 17 months and then bottled with very light filtration.