2017 Petite Sirah
Deeply dark ruby with an alluringly inky opacity in the glass; our first-ever Moone Tsai Petite Sirah reveals itself as a beguiling siren that will compel double-takes from first glimpse to final finish. Gorgeously expressive on the nose, the wine invites immediate attention…teasing the nose with sultry suggestions of black and blue fruits, violets, and earth. The wine’s attack does not demur, taking hold with hints of ripe black plum, black cherry, kirsch, licorice, and lightly toasted oak. Fine supple tannins and a pleasing acidity complete the wine, with 42% new French oak (22 months) framing a superbly balanced, lusciously layered wine that finishes with a teasing sensuality and élan. While comparisons to remarkably memorable divas might inspire some debate, we suggest pairing this Palisades-pleaser with some recorded selections from the especially fair and fetching Grammy-Award-winning songstress, the incomparable Diana Krall.
The marvelous Petite Sirah for this extraordinary wine hails from the historic Palisades Vineyard located directly below the high cliffs of the Palisades in a narrow riparian canyon, one mile north of the town of Calistoga. Petite Sirah has been the dominant grape on the property since the vineyards were first developed by Domenico Barberis, although the family grew other varietals as well. In approximately 1915, Domenico built a winery on the site bonded it as Bonded Winery No. 118. Domenico maintained his bonded status until 1932, losing it 10 months before the end of Prohibition. The old winery still stands. The Barberis family farmed the property until the early 1990s. Today, 11.3 acres of the old vine, head trained Petite Sirah are dry farmed in the tradition of the original farm.