Press & Website Reviews

by Stephanie on May 26, 2010

San Francisco Chronicle: “Much-denigrated Petite Sirah gets more respect” says John Winthrop in the Sunday, 9/6/09 issue in San Francisco Chronicle Food&Wine section (Page L5). The Chronicle’s dot-com website SFGate brings a discussion to your laptop from two sides of issue — Classic Wine Believers vs Passionate for Petites. Vintner Fulton Mather, owner of St. Helena’s David Fulton Winery states, “It’s big like Cabernet and shares Cabernet’s denseness. He even goes on to share with you some of the secrets on how it’s is done. Despite evidence to the contrary, non-advocates continue clinging to clich├ęs doubting Petite Sirah has ever been made into “a profound or classical wine.” You can just hear the wind rustling outside this article, “CWBs, you just wait now for the outing of our 2007!!!” David Fulton 2005 Petite Sirah, again a DF in Red Carpet’s TOP 100. A tasting of the Top 100 occurred on January 24, 2009 at the Madeleine’s Restaurant in Pasadena. The David Fulton wine has been listed as one of Red Carpet’s top performer each of the years since 2006 when our 2002 was declare Wine of the Year. This year owner HK Hedlund listed our 2005 to be among his top three picks. HK accompanied Dink and Fulton two nights later at Pasadena’s Bistro45 in which our wine was featured among the five others paired with courses served. Ours was paired with lamb, and restaurant owner Robert Simon told us it was the overwhelming favorite of the evening.

St. Helena Star, Thursday, December 25, 2008: Stephan Blicker declared the 2005 David Fulton Petite Sirah Napa Valley as Wine of the Week. This is hands down one of the best petites I’ve tasted.[It] has such a rich panoply of scents and flavors.[i.e.,] orange pekoe tea, black pepper, bakers spice, cloves, earth all wrapped in oozing wild black raspberries, blueberries, and even some cranberry highlights.[with] dusty bittersweet cocoa in the back end.It’s big, and a serious mouthful, but not heavy or too tannic, rather, it balances its weight very well.a perfect complement to warm the bones during this very chilly time of year.”

Wine Enthusiast: Steve Heimoff assigned 93 points to the David Fulton 2004 Petite Sirah in the December 1, 2008 issue. He writes, “Here’s your basic thermonuclear Petite Sirah. It’s huge, powerful, triumphant in its own varietal way. Has the soft lushness and immediate succulence of a modern cult Cabernet, with a vast array of chocolate, blackberry, blueberry and cherry pie filling flavors that are almost candied, but the finish is thoroughly dry. With its firm tannins, it should live for many years. If you’re a “Pet” fan, this is the one to buy.”

94 points was assigned to the David Fulton 2004 Petite Sirah by the International Wine Review ( by publishers Jay Youmans, MW and Mike Potashnik, PhD in their June 2008 report. 94 was the highest score given by the publication. Only 7 wines out of 185 California and Washington State Rhone style wines reviewed received this high a score. The narrative to the review was as follows: “It will be hard to find many Petite Sirahs as rich and complex as the 204 David Fulton Petite Sirah. Sourced from old vineyards in St. Helena, this superb bottling reveals a deep ruby purple opaque color and offers aromas of ripe blackberry fruit, saddle leather, earth, and toasty oak with a touch of spice. On the attack it reveals a velvety sweet mouth feel with beautifully integrated ripe black cherry fruit, anise, spicy oak and black pepper. It also offers a highly concentrated fruit rich finish.”

“My favorite tasting was the David Fulton [2004] Petite Sirah,” commented Lois Riker in the May 15, 2008 Yountville Sun. In writing her weekly column, she was describing the May 10, 2008 Appellation St. Helena public tasting in which 35 Napa Valley sub-appellation wineries poured over 65 different wines to a crowd of 275 paid attendees. Called the Ultimate Blind Tasting, the event was held at the beautiful hillside Flora Springs Winery.

Piedmont Post, Wednesday, 3/28/07, Wine Corner, “Petite Sirah – undeservedly overlooked” by Pierre du Mont: “The following are the seven best wines of the event: .2003 David Fulton, .[this] wine has the typical power of Petite Sirah but also carries an elegance to hone out the rough edges.” Pierre’s remarks were in reference to the PS I Love You organization the sponsor of the “Dark & Delicious,” tasting in Alameda, California on Feb. 22, 2007. Past TOP 100 Performer tasting in January, 2008 included only eight wines of which the 2004 David Fulton Petite Sirah was one. The David Fulton 2002 Petite Sirah was Red Carpet’s choice for “Wine of the Year” in 2006. In 2007, Red Carpet listed the 2003 David Fulton Petite Sirah was at the 28th position for their choice of Top 100. At the number one spot that year was Dave Phinney’s “Orin Swift 2005 The Prisoner” which, incidentally, includes grapes from the David Fulton Estate Petite Sirah vineyard in St. Helena. Red Carpet orders each year over 3,000 different wines from around the world and from which they make their selection. In a Feb 10, 2008 posting of a comment made by an observer at a yearly PS I Love You event: “I tasted the David Fulton 2004 Petite Sirah at the recent Dark and Delicious event in San Francisco on Feb. 8th, and it wss [sic] wonderful. I watched another person at this event who marked down his selection of the best 10 wines at the show, and David Fulton was at the top of his list. Josh W.” In another posting on the same website, David Fulton 2002 Petite Sirah received a Five Start rating. A few weeks later the wine was featured in the January 2008 Weekly Featured Wine Column. EMichels, commented on Red Carpet’s 10/26/07 Wine Tasting which included a 2004 David Fulton Petite Sirah. He said, “Great stuff (94 pts.)” On 1/27/08, dwkamin included in the Cellar Tracker Community Tasting Notes remarks about a different winery’s Petite Sirah and said, “. For the price I would much prefer a David Fulton style.” rloomis, participating in Community Tasting Notes averaging 90.5 pts. (in 3 notes) and regarding David Fulton 2004 Petite Sirah reported on 3/23/07, ” not officially released yet but has the makings of an outstanding wine like the 03.”

Just-Grapes.BlogSpot,com: December 12, 2007 favorable comment: “I got into Petite Sirah [on] a trip to Napa last summer [and] discovered many small wineries producing an inky, powerful, and yet amazingly structured wine. [Among them was] the grand daddy of them all–David Fulton.” “What are you Drinking Right Now?” Responding to this question on 8/14/07, wineGuy7 answered with, “2002 David Fulton Petite Sirah.” In reply to that Ibstatguy on 8/14/07 said, “Have had several bottles of the Fulton and enjoyed them all.” Later on in a different forum prompting responses to a devil’s advocate statement about fierce tannins of Petite Sirah, Ibstatguy, on 9/14/07, retorted, “I’ve liked fulton’s petite sirah.” 1/15/08: “What other rating would you expect from the owner but the very best? Giving a simple call to the winery main number, 707-967-0719, and stating the date and time you wish to visit will give you an invitation-only ticket to an historical landscape, delicious tasting and wonderful conversation with the direct descendants of the oldest continuously owned and operated family vineyards in the state of California. You won’t believe the effort and care this humble but dedicated family puts into the making of their mainstay variety, Petite Sirah. With the tannin curtains pulled back, each vintage is full of rich lush flavors and textures ready to experience upon release. Enjoy! comment by Monty & Sara Preiser: ” We wouldn’t turn our backs on [this one], 2003 David Fulton Petite Sirah, with nice fruit that seems to improve with each vintage.” Woodland Hills Wine Co., Kaj Stromer commented in the websites Staff Picks column, “David Fulton’s bottling is an example of the heights Petite Sirah can reach.” by “J”, Fall of 2007: In the website’s section devoted to wines priced between $25 and $50, he wrote: “[You] can get some very nice wines [here]. By the time wineries price their wines at this price, they know they are asking the drinkers to put some good money into their products, so they are confident that their wines are good.” David Fulton 2004 Petite Sirah was one of ten different varietals “J” listed as examples. In the website’s wine review Guest Book, was a comment by a person named David, “.I appreciate what you are trying to do. I am a huge Petite Sirah fan and thought I might recommend a GREAT ONE for you to try. David Fulton 2002 PS. It is off the hook HUGE and wonderful. Advanced stuff but you should try it, $40 available directly from the winery only. I know this is a little out of your target being not generally available everywhere and not cheap but it is really a “must try” if you are a PS fan.” Note that this was the only Petite Sirah comment on this edition of the website. featured a March 2003 Los Angeles Times article in which Rod Smith stated, “Another striking ’99 Napa Valley Petite comes from David Fulton. Its combination of minerality and piercing floral perfume evoke a rose garden planted in gravel.” Brian Storm on 5/10/07 listed six Petite Sirah brands on the website that included David Fulton as among his favorites “because it ages so well I keep a good number of them in my cellar.” February 2007 comment, “Last night, my wife Cori and I enjoyed a very nice Valentine’s Day dinner at [a prominent restaurant] in Yountville. .The final wine of the meal was a robust David Fulton Petite Syrah 2001, which was our favorite. It paired well with the Kobe Tri-Tip [posted by Ken and Cori W]

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Stephanie September 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

Thanks for looking for us! David Fulton Winery is @Petite_Sirah on Twitter.

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