2021 Bismark Petite Sirah Méthode Carbonique 750ml
Vineyard: Our Bismark Mountain Ranch is in the Moon Mountain District Sonoma County appellation, high above the city of Sonoma and San Pablo Bay. We began planting in 1991 and continue to fine tune our mix of cultivars to this day. This is steep ground; shared with Creosote bush, grey pine, coyote, and mountain lion. Topographically it is like the Douro. Windy, sun drenched yet moderate in temperature, Bismark grudgingly produces grapes with an intense, deeply concentrated flavor. Bismark’s volcanic terroir is unmistakably captured in its wines. Petite Sirah: this small block of 746 vines was grafted in 2000 with budwood collected from the Eagle Point Ranch near Ukiah.
Bismark Vintage 2021: Winter 2021 was extremely dry and warm, resulting in an extended bud break and bloom. Crop levels were low in 2021 from a combination of weak spring growth, small clusters, and blustery days. Summer was consistently warm and verasion was early. We had a moderate heat push just before harvesting the Petite Sirah- but nothing dramatic.
Winemaking: The grapes were conveyed directly to a C02 filled tank for Carbonic Maceration followed by pressing and inoculating a week later. We fermented it cold to retain freshness. It was briefly aged in in stainless and neutral oak prior to early bottling to preserve the fermentation character.
A Note on this wine: This wine is not about place per se. We liked the 2019 version and decided to make it again but at much lower sugar. Once again, we used the ancient technique of Carbonic Maceration which confers a softness, and a signature aroma very different than Saccharomyces yeast mediated fermentation.
Tasting Notes: We sat for tasting notes earlier this week. I was audibly shocked by this wine’s purity and intensity. It is far more exuberant than complex at this point but is so packed with violets, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry Strudel, and pomegranate that I lingered over the glass for minutes before tasting. About that: It is juicy, fleshy, racy, and dry. The alcohol is in the 13’s so push the quaff button. There is no sugar or need for sugar. There is no oak nor need for oak. It’s vegan, its real, just grape juice, rendered, if I may be immodest, with skillful agency. Unreal. (Tasted 6-29-22)
100% Petite Sirah
Bismark Mountain block 9A Moon Mountain District Sonoma County
Age of Vines
(TA) 0.60 g/100 mL
September 9, 2021
Length/Type of Aging
Aged off lees for four months in neutral barrels and four months in stainless steel
Bottling Date: May 20, 2022
Number of Cases: 177