The Alexander School Reserve series offers winemaker Kevin Hall the opportunity to deviate from the traditional, giving wine lovers a chance to try something different. This is our third vintage of Petite Sirah. He selected two small lots of Petite Sirah from one of our favorite growers located about 7 miles north of AVV . Many years ago the vineyards were grafted to bud wood selected from an older Petite Sirah vineyard known for inky rich fruit. Decades later, the small valley floor and hillside sites produce tight clusters of tiny pea sized grapes from the old head pruned Petite Sirah vines. There are some that think Petite Sirah is just a version of Syrah. But make no mistake this is not Syrah.
The 2020 growing season enjoyed near-perfect growing conditions. The year began with unseasonably warm temperatures, and lower than normal rainfall. This was followed by weeks of steady daytime heat and cool evenings, allowing the grapes to ripen evenly. At harvest, the quality of the fruit was excellent with high acidity and intense flavors. After harvest the grapes were soaked for 24 hours to extract maximum color, then inoculated with yeast and punched down twice a day. After fermentation and pressing, the wine was aged for 20 months in twelve American oak barrels to develop complexity and soften the tannins.
The color of this inky dark purple wine alludes to the rich flavors. Aromas of crushed berries (boysenberry & blueberry), vanilla, dark cherry dark chocolate and cola entice. There are ripe, rich flavors of blueberry, dark cherry, spice and black pepper, along with nice acidity and a long finish. This plush wine is filled with ripe, rich flavors; best of all it is something different.
2018: 97 points & Five Stars - Beverage Dynamics / Cheers
2018: 92 points - James Suckling