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2011 Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah Peterson Family Vineyard Napa Valley
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   90(+?)
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90(+?) Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - May/June 2014

(15% alcohol; aged almost entirely in neutral barrels):  Bright ruby-red.  Aromas of black fruits, licorice, mocha and nutty oak.  Plush, dense and sweet, showing noteworthy thickness but also good lift to the slightly chunky flavors of dark berries, game and chocolate.  Still a bit youthfully clenched, finishing with big, broad, serious tannins, surprising verve and late notes of blackberry, licorice, pepper and game.  Managing partner Kelly Peterson calls this wine "our most approachable petite sirah ever, as the cool growing season benefited this fruit," but added that the wine will still reward ten years of aging.  At the very least, give this a good long time in a decanter if you plan to open a bottle anytime soon.

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About Napa Valley

Napa Valley is the most famous wine-growing area in the U.S. It begins at the base of Mount St. Helena in the north and tapers off some 30 miles to the south into the floodplain where the Napa River enters San Francisco Bay. From Mount St. Helena to the city of Napa, the valley is defined by two north-south ridgelines of the Coast Range Mountains.
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Petite Sirah

Even though the origins of this grape are in France, California is the place to look for the best expressions of Petite Sirah. The "Petite" in the name refers not to the size of the vines but rather to the size of the grapes. In fact, the high skin to juice ratio that accompanies the small berries allows Petite Sirah to produce wines with high tannins and...
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