1996 Stags Leap Petite Syrah - Printable Version

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- Innkeeper - 02-19-2006

St Francis (the original one) said, "Preach always, using words when necessary." The front label of this wine says, "Stags Leap, Napa Valley, Petite Syrah, 1996, alc 13.9% by volume." The back label has the government warning, the fact that the wine contains sulfites, and that the wine was produced and bottled at the winery. This means, as Foodie would point out, that they didn't grow all the grapes. The name of the wine is incorrect. It is a Petite Sirah. For some reason they have always called it Petite Syrah.

The preaching is all in the bottle. Bought it six years ago at the suggestion of one MR Dutton, from Pops for $26. Since that was just about the most I'd ever spent for a bottle of wine, I called the winery asked them when to drink it. The answer was '05, and we got around to it tonight.

A fleshed out, well made PS is one of life's great experiences. Comparable to a fleshed out Brunello (in experience, not similarity).

This one gave strong red and black fruit and pepper on the nose and on the tongue tip. In the middle was the reason you wait for certain wines. An almost undescribable elixir of complex spicy morphed fruit in an almost perfectly balance wine that had been treated badly by us, and still survived in splender. The finish went on and on.

We matched it with roast leg of lamb with small red roasted potatoes, and salad in vinaigrette. Even after finishing that salad we could drink the last of the wine and love it all over again.

- robr - 02-19-2006

Wow! A great story and great TNs toboot! I have a bottle of PN sitting under my bed until about 2008. I hope it's half as good!

- TheEngineer - 02-19-2006

Nice IK,,... that was deep! Slowly learning about the pleasures of aged wines. Now just got to learn some patience.

- Drew - 02-20-2006

Not that I've had many well aged Petite's but the few I've had...aaahhhhh the pleasure! Nice notes, IK.


- Thomas - 02-20-2006

Nice wine and good notes IK.

Indicentally, "Produced and Bottled" by regulation means that the winery did indeed ferment and bottle the wine, and that the grapes could have come from the winery's property but did not necessarily have to. If the grapes are grown on the winery's property than "Estate Bottled" is the preferred designation, so when that designation is not selected, it is almost a cinch that not all the grapes were grown on the winery's property.

It's those "Vinted and Bottled or Cellared and Bottled" designations that are deceiving and generally don't mean much other than this producer put that together to create such a wine...

- winoweenie - 02-20-2006

One of the great Petites produced in this country IK. Warren Winarski of Stags Leap Wine Cellars bought this property a few years back and has continued bottling this flagship wine. Some of the grapes are Estate Grown. Nice notes pally. WW