There's a good reason that, until the 1960s, Petite Sirah was the most widely planted grape variety in Napa Valley. As is shown by the few remaining examples, grown in the right places it does very well there, making lovely, evocative wine even darker and spicier than Zinfandel, that other "California grape" from Europe. If Napa had only had the guts to stick with Petite through the renaissance that transformed California wine, it would have been a more distinctive and interesting choice (not to mention better value) upon which to hang one's regional hat than today's dictatorial monarch, Cabernet Sauvignon.
The best evidence is tucked into a narrow riparian canyon just east of the town of Calistoga, at the foot of the magnificent Palisades cliffs. This is Petite Sirah heaven: The cobbly loam soil of the alluvial fan is perfect for the variety. Hot summers, cool westerly morning breezes, extended sunlight and adequate winter rainfall bless the fruit with exceptional concentration and depth.
The 2016 Petite Sirah Palisades is very deep purple-black in color with an incredibly intense nose of crushed blueberries, blackberries and mulberries with touches of lilacs, lavender, spice box and cinnamon stick with an earthy undercurrent. Full-bodied, super fresh and with an appealing line of freshness lifting the dense black and blue fruits, supported with a firm, chewy frame, it finishes very long. 250 cases produced.