Petite Sirah

Mike Dunn on Petite Sirah

Mike Dunn on Petite Sirah

On my recent trip to Napa Valley for the 19th annual Taste of Howell Mountain I had a chance to visit Dunn Vineyards and Retro Cellars up on Howell Mountain.  After a tour of the vineyard and cave led by Kara Dunn I got to sit down and try out some wine and chat.  While sipping Retro Cellars Napa Valley and Howell Mountain Petite Sirah Mike offered up some insight into the grape and other varieties that do well in the Howell Mountain micro climates.

Wine review: Arizona Stronghold

I recently tasted these 4 wines from Arizona Stronghold at the famous Wrigley Mansion.  See my article on that event HERE.

“Tazi” 2008

The Blend: 52% Sauvignon Blanc, 21% Chardonnay, 19% Riesling and 8% Malvasia

Aging: Stainless steel and neutral oak

Production: 1,967 Cases

Alcohol: 13.7%

Price: $17.99

This was the first wine of the evening, and I think it is perfect for that purpose.  A good balance between the crispness of the Sauvignon Blanc and the sweetness of the Riesling.  It’s not to dry and not too sweet.

“Dayden” 2009

The Blend: Zinfandel, Grenache, Sangiovese, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc –no information on the exact percentages yet

Aging: Stainless Steel

Production: 872 Cases

Alcohol: 11.9%

Delicious!  That is my single tasting note.  Light, crisp and refreshing.  The fruit is predominantly Strawberry and Cherry with a hint of terroir vaguely French in nature.

“Mangus” 2008

The Blend: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Sangiovese and 9% Merlot.

Aging: Neutral Oak

Production: 1,359 cases

Alcohol: 14.7%

Price: $19.99

Another interesting wine, I found it to be quite powerful.  If you like the bigger bolder reds this will be the wine for you.  The style is a lot more subtle than an Australian fruit bomb or a highly extracted Napa Cab.  A dry red wine, the fruit is predominantly cherry with earthy components and a strong backbone of acidity.

“Nachise” 2008

The Blend: 52% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 15% Petite Sirah and 6% Mourverdre

Aging: Neutral Oak

Production: 2,009 cases

Alcohol: 14.7%

Price: $19.99

This is a wine a could drink all night long, without having to switch to something else.  Why?  Great dark fruit, blackberry blue berry, very smooth fine tannins and a very interesting component that can only be described as Juniper and or pine.  The wine is French in nature, more specifically Rhone.  Once again, not a highly extracted fruit bomb, which is a welcome change for my palate.  Great supple mouthfeel and nice long lingering finish.  At 14.7% I would have expected more heat from the alcohol but I was pleasantly surprised, the heat is kept in check, and the alcohol provides plenty of lift for the aromatics.

Interview with Greggory Graziano, Proprietor / Winemaker at Graziano Family of Wines

I recently had the opportunity to meet Greg Graziano,  proprietor and winemaker at Graziano Family of Wines.  We met at the Orange Table Cafe in Scottsdale Arizona and were introduced by local sommelier Sandy Wasserman.  Just a little background information about the Graziano Family of Wines before we click play on the video:

The Graziano family has been growing grapes and producing wine in Mendocino County since 1918 and Greg is a third generation wine-maker.  The Graziano Family of Wines consists of four brands in 26 different styles!  Here is a list:

Saint Gregory:  Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Reserve, Pinot Meunier, Pinotage, Pinot Blanc

Monte Volpe: Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, Tocai Friulano, Peppolino, Primo Rosso, Sangiovese Rosato

Enotria: Cortese, barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis, Moscato, Barbera, Dolcetto Rosato

Graziano: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel Rose, Carignane, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Coro Mendocino,  Chenin Blanc Late Harvest

You would be almost a quarter of the way to joining the wine “Century” club by trying out all of Greg’s wines!

Visit the Graziano website

For You Tube time limit purposes the interview is going to be split up, here is part one:

Part Two:

Part Three