Every vintage has its own personality; a unique history of climatic experience that shapes the flavor of the wine we taste in our glass. The 2012 season was preceded by two of the coldest vintages in a decade and was welcomed with open arms for its warmth. Preseason rainfall was a bit on the shy side at 60% of normal, with a nice wet storm arriving at budbreak on the first week of April that brought welcome moisture for growth and suppressed chances of spring frost. Our typically warm springtime conditions brought rapid shoot growth and irrigation was stopped in our vineyards in mid-June to promote seed ripening, limit berry size and soften the tannins in our Petite Sirah. A period of triple digit hot temperatures added definition to the vintage in mid- August toward the end of veraison. This intensified the tannin structure and wine density for the vintage as a whole. Ideal warm and dry September weather pushed the grapes to full ripeness the first week of October, when we harvested our two best blocks a couple of days prior to a light rain in order to maintain a maximum concentration of fruit flavors in this excellent vintage of Tower Road Petite Sirah.
In the vineyards surrounding Tower Road, in the Estrella and San Miguel districts of Paso Robles, our Petite Sirah thrives on the well-drained yet heavier clay soils of the area. The rarity of autumn rains in Paso Robles allows this tight-clustered variety to reach full maturity almost every year, without the risk of bunch-rot that exists in damper regions around the state. Our ripening program requires that we apply bird netting to the vines in August to assure that birds don’t overfeed on this especially flavorful grape before harvest. Despite intense summer sun and very warm daytime temperatures in Paso Robles, the gentle afternoon breezes that creep in from the Monterey Bay to the north and from the Templeton Gap to the west cool the area by as much as fifty degrees by early morning, preserving the acidity and bright fruit character of our Petite Sirah.
Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
This dense wine opens up early with a splash-decant, and should develop in the bottle for up to 10 years.10 Years
Pairs well with aromatic herbs and pan-seared meat dishes such as rosemary lamb chops with roasted fennel.