2006 Russian River Valley Petite Sirah
Petite Sirah • Bacigalupi Vineyard
California: Russian River Valley (Sonoma)
What we say
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Today’s selection from Adobe Road Winery is a truly delicious and excellent wine, and it is available today, ONLY from The Wine Spies. If you are a fan of great Petite Sirah, today’s exclusive wine is an excellent choice.
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Mission Codename: The Great Toothbrush Incident, Part Deux
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Operative’s favorite, Adobe Road Winery, and return with their newest Petite Sirah, this time from Bacigalupi Vineyards
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Adobe Road Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Adobe Road Petite Sirah – Bacigalupi Vineyard – Russian River Valley
Winemaker: Michael Scorsone
Backgrounder: The Russian River Valley is ideally suited for red grape varietals. Its early morning fog and coastal breezes result in a cooler climate than the neighboring wine growing regions. For today’s wine, Agent Red returns to our old friends, Adobe Road Winery, and he returns with their deep, rich and delicious 2006 Bacigalupi Vineyards Petite Sirah.
The Bacigalupi family has been growing some of the finest – andmost famous – fruit in California for nearly a half century. The family’s vineyards earned notariety in the 1970’s when their grapes caused a worldwide sensation. With wine made from Bacigalupi grapes, Chateau Montelena of Napa Valley stunned the world by winning the prestegious Judgement of Paris, beating out wines from France, the traditional winners of the competition. Today’s wine is made from the finest Bacigalupi fruit, and to great effect. The Wine Spies love this well-balanced and very delicious Petite Sirah. Read Agent Reds interview with Adobe winemaker, Michael Scorsone, following his tasting notes below
Petite Sirah’s California roots dates back to when it was believed to be a close relative of the Syrah grape. Later it would be found to be genetically identical to the Durif, named for its after French discoverer François Durif who found that the varietal was a Syrah grape pollinated with Peloursin flowers. Its smaller berries with higher skin to pulp ratio leads to more intense flavors. Another benefit of the smaller berries are tighter clusters that are more resistant to mildew. Currently Petite Sirah is less popular in France and increasingly popular in the United States.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep, dark inky Burgundy heart, with a solid and tightly springy surface, this wine shows off darkly concentrated purple edges and tightly-spaced, skinny legs that run down the glass at varying speeds after swirling
Smell – A big rush of overripe blackberry leads off, followed by smoky dark blueberry, cassis, subtle dried meats, smoky tree bark, dried leaves, pepper and the softest hint of tutti-fruity ice cream
Feel – Very round on initial entry, but then quickly grippy and mouth coating as a mid-palate dryness makes a sudden appearance, coating the mouth with rich, medium to big tannins
Taste – Darkly delicious, richly layered and highly concentrated, with flavors of dusky/jammy mixed dark berries, tart cranberry, cassis, darkest black cherry, plum, with soft spice, oak, subtle cedar and a tasty hint of dried leaves
Finish – Long, dry and dusky, with rich, dark flavors that start sweet, go slightly tart, then back to sweet as your watering mouth reminds you to take another delicious sip
Conclusion – This is another delicious offering from our great friends at Adobe Road! We went ga-ga over their last Petite Sirah, shown here just a few months back, but we have to admit – we like this one even more. With a balanced boldness that is thrilling, this wine is a food-friendly treat that, like some Petite’s can do, will not overpower your meal. We enjoyed our sample bottles with a wide variety of foods, including grilled New Your steak, roasted chicked, grilled potatoes, a fresh garden saladand gourmet sausages. Against each of these, the wine held up beautifully and so did the food. This is a big Petite, but not so big as to be problematic. If you look for balance in your Petite Sirah, this wine is a superb choice.
Today we are very pleased to bring you an interview with the very busy winemaker for Adobe Road Winery, Michael Scorsone:
AGENT RED: Greetings, Michael. We are thrilled to be showing your newest 2006 Bacigalupi Petite Sirah today. The wine is fantastic. Can you please tell us a little bit about the wine?
MICHAEL SCORSONE: Hi Agent Red!!! Thanks. We all love this wine. This Petite Sirah is a monster!! It has loads of texture and body with an intense, lingering finish. It’s like enjoying a chocolate blueberry espresso with ginger and orange peel, ”if that makes any sense” . I remember when we were racking this wine for the last time to bottle it. The production cellar was filled with intense aromas. It smelled like black figs and truffles. It’s making me hungry just talking about it.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
MICHAEL: Growing-up in an Italian Family, attending the C.I.A, Being a professional chef.
RED: C.I.A.?! By that, you mean the Culinary Institute of America and not that other spy agency. Tell me this, where did you learn the most about winemaking?
MICHAEL: I learned a lot through previous jobs and schooling, Traveling and working in Italy, France, New Zealand. However, anyone can learn to make wine. It’s personality and philosophy that sets us apart.
RED: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
MICHAEL: Let the wines show character and personality. A strong sense of vineyard location. Show tradition…but not afraid to take chances. Don’t make the wine into something it’s not.
RED: Porsche racing legend, Kevin Buckler, owns the winery. How much input does he have during the winemaking process?
MICHAEL: Kevin has a great pallet! He is always tasting with us and giving input. He definitely brings something to the table.
RED: How long have you been making wine?
MICHAEL: ’09 will be my 8th vintage.
RED: Excellent. And who do you make wine for?
RED: Tell me, what makes the Bacigalupi Vineyard and the Russian River Valley so special?
MICHAEL: Sure.. It is a combination of everything from the site, exposure, soil, temperature, weather, etc. but most important, it is the Bacigalupi family who make this vineyard special. They have been farming this vineyard for over fifty years. Some of their Zinfandel vines are over a hundred years old. They know every single vine on their property like the back of their hand. This attention to detail is what separates great from exceptional!
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
MICHAEL: It is a lifestyle…not just a job! You have to love it and be passionate about farming and winemaking. Yes.. it is romantic, but it is very hard work.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
MICHAEL: Traveling …… You have to sell the stuff too!!!!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
MICHAEL: Lots of fresh black plumb and sweet baking spices. This wine is from very old vines in the hills of dry creek.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
MICHAEL: So far, my favorite meals with this wine have been spicy and sweet dishes like Thai or BBQ with a sweet ,spicy, sticky sauce.
RED: Sounds delicious. I’ll have to try that. Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
MICHAEL: If I tell you….then everyone will know.
RED: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
MICHAEL: I love “Burgundy” I also love to find cheap random “old-world” wines that are usually overlooked.
RED: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
MICHAEL: With a corkscrew, a glass, and a willing attitude!
RED: Nice! If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
MICHAEL: Wow !!!! I could go crazy trying to narrow that down to one wine. Probably some older Domain Dujac from Burgundy
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
MICHAEL: Shaken…….not stirred and long walks on a beach
RED: Interesting… Well, Michael, thank very much for spending this time with me. Keep up the great work, we continue to be big fans!
MICHAEL: Thanks, Red!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the world famous Bacigalupi Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Immense blueberry and espresso notes mingle with a very ripe mission fig and dark chocolate aroma. This full-bodied Petite Sirah is extremely rich from start to finish with notions of orange peel and ginger. There is everything to savor in this wine.
Winemaking: Hand Harvested Ripe Mature Fruit. Destemmed for a long, cold soak. Temperature controlled fermentation for full fruit complexity and depth of color.
About The Winery:
Adobe Road is a small, family-owned winery located in Petaluma. We specialize in flavorful, distinctive wines. Each of our vintages is handcrafted with fine attention to detail, for a unique taste and experience. Our wines are created in small lots, allowing precise quality control to ensure that every bottle is just the way our wine artisans intended. Traditionally, Adobe Road has produced rich red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but 2006 brings a lighter Sauvignon Blanc to our tasting room.
Adobe Road Winery is owned by renowned sports car racer and entrepreneur Kevin Buckler and his wife, Debra. Adobe Road Winery produces award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petite Sirah exclusively from Sonoma County sources. The tasting room is located in Petaluma, California. In 1995 Kevin founded The Racer’s Group (TRG) and grew it into an internationally prominent manufacturer and distributor of performance Porsche parts, while simultaneously building a career as a successful endurance sportscar racer and team owner. Kevin’s accomplishments as a driver include class wins at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2002) and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans (2002), an overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2003), and the title of Porsche World Cup Champion in 2002. As a team owner, Kevin has directed the growth of The Racer’s Group into an internationally-acclaimed racing team.
With friends, the Bucklers started making “garage wine”, which, after prodding from enthusiastic friends started commercially bottling under the Adobe Road label in 1999. Through Kevin’s good connections, he has acquired grapes from some very prestigious vineyards, which he handcrafts into extremely limited-production wines. The awards have followed, with the Adobe Road 2001 Zinfandel winning a Silver medal in the prestigious Orange County Fair Wine Competition. In March of 2005, Adobe Road brought home the gold, with the 2002 Pinot Noir winning a Gold Medal – Best of Class; the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon placing Silver and the 2002 Zinfandel receiving Bronze at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With the goal of producing exceptional wines by hand-crafting small lots of red varietals exclusively from Sonoma County, the Bucklers have dedicated themselves to seeing their vision through to reality, and the results are paying off.
Appellation: Russian River Valley, Bacigalupi Vineyard
Barrel Aging: 16 months in 85% French and 15% American oak
Release: August 2009
Bottled: May 2009