Past Vintages

2009 Petite Sirah, Old Vines Napa Valley Estate

Growing Season

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There were considerably less days of frost in 2009 than in previous years which lowered to some extent the danger of crop loss. However, late spring rains delayed warm weather until June weather curtailed excessive canopy development. Finally, there were nearly 14 days of 100oF temperatures which brought our overall weather around to a typical growing season.

Winemaker Notes

This year’s vintage, though unique by itself, packs the same wallop of earlier ones. Dark, big and massive as you would expect of a David Fulton, you will find with this one that Petite Sirah is not just a name—it’s our plan for the game. Black fruit and cassis on the nose, the flavors of black berries, black pepper, allspice, cloves and creamy sweet oak are a few of the descriptors that come to mind. The mid palate is coating, thick and packed with texture. There is a long finish with a bit more grip than usual. Drink now, hold for a year or two, or lay it down for a decade—your choice. 281 cases.

Accolades!
93 Points Wine & Spirits Magazine
SILVER International Women’s Wine Competition, 2012
SILVER San Francisco Chronicle Int’l Wine Comp. 2012
SILVER American Fine Wine Competition, Boca Raton, Florida 2012
SILVER San Diego’s International Wine Competition, 2013
SILVER Orange County Fair’s Commercial Wine Competition, 2013

 

2008 Petite Sirah, Old Vines Napa Valley Estate

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Growing Season

The 2008 growing season began with intense storms in January that brought high winds and heavy rains to the region. The precipitation soon waned and Napa received little more than 60% of its normal rainfall.  The spring season was one of the driest on record with virtually no rainfall.  The drier soils prompted vines to push out early which provided frigid, dry air to create conditions for the deepest and longest frost period in decades.  After fruit set, fewer clusters with smaller berries were typical in the Valley.  The dryness, cooler, consistent temps and less vine canopy added up to healthier vines but a lighter yield.  We were able to produce a little more than 300 cases.

Winemaker Notes

True to previous years of elegance, this vintage provides a wider range of bright, high-tone fruit flavors emanating from the expected deep, dark color of the varietal.  We are pleased by blackberry, fig, cinnamon, dark, Baker’s chocolate and licorice aromas and rewarded with flavors of red cherry, boysenberry, raspberry, and distinct vanilla on the palate.  With soft tannins, this is a round, velvety, silky wine that will need little cellaring to enjoy.

Accolades!
92 Points Wine Spectator’s Inside; a member-only biweekly publication.
GOLD San Diego International Wine Competition, 2012
4 STAR GOLD Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, 2012
GOLD American Fine Wine Competition, Boca Raton, FL 2012
SILVER (as a new release!) Women’s International Wine Competition, 2011
SILVER San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2012
89 Points Wine Enthusiast Magazine, March 2012

 

2008 Heritage 1860, Bordeaux blend with a ‘kiss’ of Petite Sirah,
Napa Valley

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The wine displays aromas of boysenberry, black current, cloves, allspice and pepper with nuances of dark chocolate and hints of oak. The wine exhibits depth and concentration that caries through to a long, rich finish. This wine is like liquid silk. Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 10% Petite Sirah.
We produced only one barrel of this unique blend, just 24 cases!
 

2008 Our Sweet Petite, Old Vines, Napa Valley Estate

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Our Sweet Petite is a fortified wine made from our over-ripe Petite Sirah grapes with grape brandy added at the precise moment during fermentation to create  a delicious after dinner wine.  This vintage is very well balanced: pleasingly sweet but not syrupy.  It is available in 375 ml bottles only (splits.)  We produced only one barrel = 50 cases.

PLATINUM San Diego International Wine Competition, 2012
84 Points Wine Enthusiast
BRONZE American Fine Wine Competition, Boca Raton, FL 2012
 

2007 Petite Sirah, Old Vines Napa Valley Estate

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Growing Season. The year began dry with some cold days, and the season continued dry, about 60% of normal precipitation.  Temperatures were warmer than normal  as winter continued into spring.  The summer continued on the mild to cool side with one brief period of heat spikes around Labor Day.  The crop was notably smaller due to the dry season. Sugar levels did accelerate the last week of August.  The vintage was below average in terms of yields, but very promising quality.

Winemaker Notes. Consistent with previous years of dark color, richness, balance and elegance, this wine brings a hint of black berries, oak and cassis on the nose.  Just what you’d expect from a 2007 vintage, there are layers of flavors ranging from bright fruits to a calming earthy nature that jump onto your palate.  Here you’ll find boysenberry, red raspberry, leather, cloves and black tea to tickle your fancy.  Midway, a lovely, soft texture rolls off into a surprise finish with a tiny more grip at the end in comparison to previous vintages.  Slightly less than 500 cases will be there to greet an ever increasing demand for this year’s prize both for the eager-beavers and the more patient ones willing to hold off a dozen years for bottle bouquet to develop.

Accolades!
GOLD Grand Harvest Awards, 2011
GOLD Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, 2012
91 Points! Wine Enthusiast Magazine
SILVER Riverside International Wine Competition
SILVER San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition
TOP FIVE from Girl with a Glass’s Alana Gentry

2006 Petite Sirah, Old Vines Napa Valley Estate

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Growing Season. The year began with wet weather turning into a near flooding from the Napa River. Rain continued at times into spring delaying bud break. The warm sun came out in July for good, and vines began to bloom and set fruit. Then there was a record ten-day heat wave before the close of July. Turning to normal, the heat helped catch the vines up to a “normal.” Somewhat cooler weather arrived in August and continued through September allowing for moderately paced ripening. Our harvest of Petite Sirah came Saturday, October 14th as we squeezed by a week of cool weather and a little rain.

Winemaker Notes. Out of the historic and highly regarded David Fulton Vineyard comes yet another year of an outstanding Petite Sirah. Elegant but more inky and massive than the previous vintage this year’s prize leans a little more into the “Old World” camp as a welcomed companion alongside a plate of rich food. Laden with intense black fruit flavors, coated with a coco-like texture on the mid-pallet and sprinkled with cloves, leather, black tea, fresh pie dough and dark chocolate, this complex yet balanced wine will transform your ordinary meal into an evening of enchantment. Though it will cellar well, why wait?

2005 Petite Sirah, Old Vines Napa Valley Estate

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Growing Season. This was a season of contrasts from other vintages and from earlier forecasts to final outcome. The year started out with 60% of normal precipitation with some very cold days. Then temperatures were warmer than normal as winter continued into spring with a resulting earlier budding, bloom and set in the vineyard. The summer was dominated by cool weather lasting all summer long and continuing into the fall with a brief heat spike around Labor Day adding a boost in sugar development. All this brought characteristics to wine reminiscent to those produced in the year 1998. Eventually, maturity was achieved, and we attained commencing harvest.

Winemaker Notes. True to previous years of elegance, this vintage provides a wider range of bright, high-tone fruit flavors emanating from the expected deep, dark color of the varietal. We are pleased by loganberry, fresh dough, cassis and nutmeg aromas and rewarded with flavors of blackberry pie, Baker’s chocolate and black cherry. Round, velvety, thick and coating on the pallet, we are left with an elegant finish that will show well with bottle age into the next decade or so.

2004 Petite Sirah

Harvest and Cellaring. A tempered summer, it was a wonderful year for the 2004 vintage. Fog rolled into the Valley most summer days with a warming trend in September. We can say the pattern was in the moment when ripeness and flavor unfold from mere grapes into extraordinary Petite Sirah. At harvest the grapes measured 25.8 brix, 3.58 pH and 0.68 TA. The wine was bottled at 14.9% alcohol, 3.74 pH and 0.62 TA.

Winemaker Tasting Notes. One of our more robust years, it is bigger, fatter with a little more fruit and grip than the previous year. Highlighted by black raspberries, cinnamon, licorice and cloves, complexity is brought to the nose through a dark purple, meniscus encased, cerise colored pool. A myriad of flavors follow: mint, black pepper, nutmeg, black cherries, black tea, dark Bakers chocolate, allspice, cassis and not the least of all, blueberry notes. We can still enjoy a round, firm, chewy but tempered grip to pleasantly remind us of rich, supple steak tartar with the nearly full bodied texture of warm, creamy chocolate. There is the presence of oak as if dipped in maple syrup with an extended and lush after taste. The full elegance of this wine will not be achieved until some cellaring. It will last into the next decade.

2003 Petite Sirah

Harvest and Cellaring. The wine is hand crafted by family members and close friends and neighbors. The grapes were left on vines to the optimum moment, September 27, 2003, at which time they were carried off the vineyard in small lug boxes, triple-sorted and cold soaked. They measured 26.50 brix, 3.31 pH and 0.69 TA. The process continued as whole-berry fermentation in a specially designed oak tank utilizing a combination of punch-downs and pump-overs with carefully monitored temperature control. Gently pressed and tasted for tannins, the must was carefully transferred to half new and half two-year old French Oak barrels for secondary (M/L) fermentation at a slightly elevated temperature. The wine was cellared another two years in the same, Chateaux Ferre barrels and toped with precision and regularity in the newly constructed wine cellar. Upon bottling on February 21, 2005, the wine measured 14.9% alcohol, 3.84 pH and 0.64 TA.

Winemaker Tasting Notes. Our 2003 Petite Sirah release date is October 1, 2006. This is the fifth release since reopening of the historic winery and the third estate bottling in 135 years. No doubt about it, this is a special wine. It comes from a St. Helena dry-farmed vineyard of antiquity. As such, the wine shows black admitting aromas of blackberries and cranberries and issuing a rich array of red and black fruit flavors. The mid palate is coating and thick, similar to coffee mocha, and packed with textural. Complete with round tannins, the finish is noticeably longer than previous vintages, not that earlier ones were without a lasting quality. The wine, held for three years before release, allows for current consumption for those who can’t wait yet graceful aging for those that prefer patience. Just 320 cases were produced. With proper storage the wine should last into the next decade and beyond.

2002 Petite Sirah

Harvest and Cellaring. This is the fourth release since reopening of the historic winery and the second estate bottling in 125 years. The wine is hand crafted by immedite family members and many of our close friends and neighbors. The grapes were left on vines to the optimum moment, September 28, 2002, at which time they were carried off the vineyard in small lug boxes, triple-sorted and cold soaked. They measured 28.1 degrees brix, 3.67 pH and 0.65 TA. The process continued as whole berry fermentation in a specially designed oak tank utilizing a combination of punch-downs and pump-overs with carefully monitored temperature control. Gently pressed and tasted for tannins, the must was carefully transferred to half new and half two-year old French Oak barrels for secondary (M/L) fermentation at a slightly elevated temperature. The wine was cellared another two years in the same, Chateaux Ferre, barrels and toped with precision and regularity in the newly constructed wine cellar. Upon bottling on March 24, 2005 the wine was measured 15.6% alcohol, 3.76 pH and 0.68 TA.

Winemaker Tasting Notes. The release date for our 2002 Petite Sirah is October 1, 2005. No doubt about it, this is an intense wine. The pour is inky black except when viewed under a strong lamp and held to a thin layer where it settles into a ravishing pool of brilliant clarity displaying dark reds with a deep purple rim. Trailing up from a rotating glass are fresh, massive, pure black fruit aromas with hints of blackberry and logan berry fragrances elegantly revealed in a way rarely seen in this variety. The flavors match the breath yet divulge even more with loganberry, cassis, licorice, fresh dough, and well-integrated oak notes resembling maple syrup. The texture is a multilayered coating of round supple thick black cherry. Left at the end of each sip are youthful, round, rich mature tannins balanced with wood. The wine allows for current consumption for those who can’t wait yet graceful aging for those that prefer patience. Just 350 cases were produced. With proper storage the wine should last a decade or two.

2001 Petite Sirah

Harvest and Cellaring. October 1, 2004 marks the date of release of our 2001 Petite Sirah. It is the third such release since the start of reconstruction of the historic winery, but the first release of an estate bottling in 125 years. The wine was hand crafted, except with the help of close friends and neighbors during harvest crush and press time, by immediate family members. Left on the vines for an extended hang time, the grapes were picked in small lug boxes, triple-sorted, cold soaked and measured: the brix was 25.4o, pH was 3.41 and T.A. was 0.62. The process continued as whole-berry fermentation in a specially designed oak tank utilizing a combination of punch-downs and pump-overs with carefully monitored temperature control. Gently pressed and tasted for tannins, the must was carefully transformed to juice and placed into half new and half two-year old French Oak barrels for secondary (M/L) fermentation at a slightly elevated temperature. The wine was cellared another two years in the same, Chateaux Ferre, barrels with regulated topping precision in the old farm tank house which had been renovated for this purpose by use of insulation and air-conditioning until the old wine cellar could be reconstructed. Upon bottling February 19, 2004 the alcohol was measured 14.5% by volume, the TA was 0.65 g/100mL and the pH came in at 3.66. Only 99 cases were produced for release to fine restaurants and specialty wine shops.

Winemaker Tasting Notes. Visualize deep red or cerise with purple hues glittering in a swirling pool at the bottom of your glass. The precious liquid begins to release unforeseen freshness and bright black fruit aromas with hints of toast and maple syrup. It is as if the wine were placed instead in a carefully crafted goblet warming each breath as if taken in by the glow of a warm fireplace. Driven to taste the draw of the first few drops take you by surprise as to how powerful and fresh the fruit comes through with merely a touch of oak. Each sip brings a new play of notes with black cherry in front followed by blackberry, boysenberry, currants, allspice, cassis and chocolate. The texture across the mid-pallet is elegant, sweet round tannins with some grip reserved for bottle aging. Hey, after all, this is Petite Sirah! Finally, the lasting effect is long and silky with black fruit lingering to the end. We recommend decanting or letting the bottle sit at room temperature a while to soften the tannins for those who can’t resist the temptation to taste upon buying. Otherwise, a bottle with proper storage should last a decade or two.

2000 Petite Sirah

Harvest and Cellaring. This was the second release from the current descendant of the founder of historic David Fulton Winery. Estate harvested but custom crushed by a noted local winery on September, 25, 2000, the fruit measured at 23.1 degree brix, 0.525 g/100mL TA and 3.501 pH. After six months in oak barrels, the crush winery delivered 240 gallons to the David Fulton Winery in March 2001 for further cellaring and bottling. They were masterly crafted in two new and two two-year old French oak, Chateaux Ferre barrels. Bottled on March 27, 2003, the wine measured at 13.9% alcohol, 0.67 g/100mL TA and 3.51 pH. Having aged in barrels 30 months and in bottles an additional 6 months, approximately 99 cases were released in October 2003.

Winemaker Tasting Notes. From the glass the first revelation is a deep, dark red with shimmering violet hues. The wine once swirled carries a sense above the rim of blackberries and raspberries and reaching further a hint of toast and maple. Take a sip from the glass. There is more to discover, a taste of figs, currents, cherries, licorice, and even hints of mocha and vanilla. Hold a moment longer and notice that the texture is full, no, mouth-filling, and, finally, the experience is brought to a lush finish, one that is well-structured, firm yet roundness with grip. Overall, this 2000 Petite Sirah is a top grade wine. Though drinkable now it will improve with time and should last with proper cellaring for 25 years.

1999 Petite Sirah

Harvest and Cellaring. The first commercial release in 130 years, the family of David Fulton invites you to a delightful experience of an ultra premium wine. Estate harvested but custom crushed by a noted local winery on October 7, 1999, the fruit was harvested at 24.7o brix, 0.49 g/100mL TA and 3.73 pH. After one year of aging in oak, two barrels were returned to the David Fulton Winery and cellared another year in new and 1-year old French, Chateaux Ferre oak barrels. At bottling the wine measured at 14.5% alcohol, 0.65 g/100mL TA and 3.46 pH. Today, the Fulton Family brings you ripe fruit flavors of well-rounded Old Vine Petite Sirah to enjoy now or keep for a decade (50 cases).

Winemaker Tasting Notes. Our senses start by visualizing an, attractive vermillion red steeped with violet hues. Taking breath we find ripe black fruits with tinges of currants, licorice, blackberries and figs. At the edge of relishing more, we are gently touched by smooth, liquid surprises: dark baker’s chocolate, cedar and black cherries. Finally, we savor the moment knowing we will not be punished by the usual tannins; rather, we are rewarded by an extraordinary “Pet” full of roundness, medium tannins and a toasty finish.