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2009 R&B Cellars Petite Sirah, Napa Valley

R&B Cellars
2009 Petite Sirah, Napa Valley

Double Gold - Affairs of the Vine Rhone Shoot-Out
Gold Medal - Tasters Guild Consumer Wine Awards
Gold Medal - Winemakers Challenge Int'l Wine Competition
Gold Medal - FL State Fair Wine Competition

R&B Cellars, with their whimsical, musically themed labels, has been a favorite of ours since we first tried the wines here at WineHeist.  On that first tasting we tasted several of their wines in a line-up with some other well known wines that we were more familiar with, and felt that the R&B wines more than held their own—then we looked at the prices, and found out that the R&B wines were less than half the price of the other wines in the flight! Needless to say, we were impressed, and when we recently tasted the 2009 Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, we immediately secured an allocation.

Despite the confusing "Petite" in the name (a reference to the berry size, not the resulting wine), Petite Sirah based wines, especially 100% varietal P.S. like this one, are known for being big, rich, and tannic, and the 2009 R&B Cellars Napa Valley Petite Sirah is no exception.  Deep, darkest ruby red color. The nose is intensely fruity with waves of ripe, crushed blackberry, plum, raspberry, and black cherries with accents of brown baking spice, mineral, and cocoa. The palate fully concurs with the nose, delivering wave after wave of ripe berry fruits with flanking notes of spice, oak, and hints of earth. Ideally balanced while undeniably large and jammy. The finish trails off softly with notes of cocoa powder, allspice, and oak with soft, chewy tannins.  One of the great things about Petite Sirah is that it often offers richness and depth at prices that other varieties can't compete with, and this one is a great example of that phenomenon.

Bingham Ranch is one of the oldest vineyards in the Napa Valley. It has been in the same family since the mid 1800's, homesteading times, and was planted with vineyards in the 1950's. The Petite Sirah was planted in the 1980's, and is on the northern edge of the ranch. It is a small berry clone that benefits from extended hang time for optimal ripeness.

The Wine:
Harvested in mid October, the Petite Sirah from Bingham ranch was perfect. Fruit was hand sorted, and then crushed and de-stemmed into half ton macro bins. A three-day cold soak was done before fermentation. Hand punched down twice a day during fermentation and then gently pressed off and put into 100% French oak barrels. The wine was racked four times while aging in barrels, and then lightly filtered for bottling. 3% 2009 Zinfandel was added in the final blend to soften the edges.

Winemaker's Comments:
This Petite Sirah is dark, powerfully flavored, and intense. An explosion of flavors with hints of blueberry, black currant, and dark plum tones that match beautifully with the French oak notes of chocolate and exotic spice. As the name Pizzicato denotes, this wine has lots of "pluck" so you better be ready for some serious wine. In matching with food, big flavors only need apply!

Vineyards:  Bingham Ranch, Napa Valley
Composition:  97% Petite Sirah 3% Zinfandel
Harvested:  October 2009
Bottled:  September 2011
Released:  October 2011
Production:  580 Cases
Cooperage:  100% French Oak
Radoux, Jarnac, Boutes, St.Martin, Seguin Moreau, Treuil, Bel Air, Ermitage, Billon, Vicard 100% new

Tasting Notes PDF PDF 

About The Winery...

R&B Cellars is Alameda's largest family-owned winery. As part of the burgeoning East Bay urban wine scene, the winery's core mission has been to create high quality wines that deliver tremendous value to the consumer. Since 1997, winemaker Kevin Brown has taken a detail-oriented and labor-intensive approach to crafting the highest quality wines. Each of the winery's varietals, having earned 90+ point scores and numerous accolades across the country, has helped to set R&B Cellars apart from the traditional players in the marketplace.

Kevin and Barbara Brown, the owners and winemakers, are jazz musicians, performing at winery events, winemaker dinners and wine tastings across the country. Their passion for jazz is evident by the beautiful musical wine labels and the fun, jazzy names. With over 30 years of experience in various areas of the industry, it is natural that the Brown family has extended their passion for making music into creating fantastic wine. Their motto: Wine That Swings! And it does.

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