2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah Wins Big!
Last week, we received the great news that our 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah took home the award for Best in Show at Tri-Valley Conservancy's annual Livermore UNCORKED wine competition! UNCORKED is a local wine competition showcasing wines made from grapes grown in the Livermore Valley AVA. There were a total of 123 entries, with 69 of those entries making it to the final round where they were judged blindly by Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast, Laura Ness of Spirited and Wine Industry Advisor, and Fred Swan of NorCal Wines.
It seems fitting that a Petite Sirah should be the wine that won Best of Show as Petite Sirah has a reputation for producing wines of distinction in the Livermore Valley. John Concannon bottled the first bottle of Petite Sirah in the Livermore Valley in 1963. The variety is the child of the grapes Peloursin and Syrah and is loved for its inky color, full-body, and flavors of blueberry, chocolate, plums, and black pepper.
The 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah is a blend of 91% Petite Sirah, 4% Zinfandel, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Merlot. Cocoa, baking spices, vanilla, and vibrant dark fruit bursts through on the nose. On the palate, subtle hints of tea leaf and tamarind reveal themselves at the beginning, and the finish is long and satisfying with a focus on cocoa, cream, and vanilla.
Heading into 2016, Livermore experienced more rain than usual in the offseason. It was a warm year marked by cool nights, which is fairly ideal growing conditions. Though there were more hot days than we would have liked, the cooler temperatures at night (diurnal shift) helped the grapes to ripen and maintain flavor while also maintaining acid.
Despite the hot weather, we were able to keep the Petite Sirah sugar levels in a good place relative to the ripeness, so we picked it at nearly an ideal time. The harvest dates were relatively normal timing, ranging from late September to early October. The wine was a blend of some early pick and some late pick Petite, to balance acidity, alcohol and ripe flavors in the final wine. We then aged the wine aged in a mix of 60% New French (38%), American Oak (54%), and Hungarian Oak (8%) for 22 months before bottling. The result is an intense and rich, yet quite approachable Petite Sirah.
Our 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah was not only Best in Show but took home Double Gold, Best in Class, and Best Red! Talk about a grand slam! Please join us in celebrating with our outstanding winemaker, Jesse Plautz, for his great work in helping Ruby Hill live up to being the Jewel of Livermore Valley!
Want to try a taste? You can order the 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah in our online shop, or swing by the tasting room and enjoy it as part of our flight!
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