Wine Maker's Notes
Petite Syrah is a wine that has become synonymous with Stags' Leap. Over the years they've developed long-standing partnerships with Petite Syrah growers up and down the valley, and nurtured their own 70-year-old Petite Syrah estate vineyard, planted on deep, rocky soils. This wine benefits from that diversity, as well as from the mélange of varieties that add to the final blend. This classic red is inky black, and is as complex as it is powerful.
The late harvest of 2003 ensured full phenolic maturity in Stags' Leap's Petite Syrah vineyards. The grapes were hand-picked in October and fermented in a combination of open and closed-top fermenters, maximizing the concentration and extraction of the finished wine. Nineteen months of ageing in mostly neutral oak barrels allows the wine to find its center as the varietal mix combines Petite Syrah with Syrah, Viognier, Carignane, Mourvedre and Grenache.
From the look of the wine, you'd expect it to be massive on the palate, but one of the pleasures of Stags' Leap Petite Syrah is its finesse and elegance. This is an unusually complex and layered vintage. The nose teems with blackberries, red currants, cut hay, and burnt oranges. On the palate this sensuous wine is a mouthful of rich bitter chocolate, French vanilla, and raspberries wrapped in round, sappy tannins. It's at once fascinating and intriguing, leaving you with a reverberating finish.