2018 Mettler Petite Sirah
2018 Mettler Petite Sirah, from Lodi, California exudes elegance and grace from the first sip. True to its varietal heritage, the color is opaque and deep purple. Soft aromas of sweet blueberry and raspberry are sultry and inviting. As it unfolds on the palate, it delivers a beautiful swirl of concentrated berry flavors with notes of dark honey, mocha and spice. Well-integrated tannins create a bold backdrop for the beautifully lush texture, and carry the flavors through the lingering finish.
With its deep color, firm tannins and bold flavors, there is nothing petite about Petite Sirah. The variety, originally known as Durif in the Rhône, took on its more popular moniker after being imported to California in the early 1880s. Quintessentially recognized today as a grape of the Golden State, Petite Sirah works well blended with Zinfandel and finds success as a single varietal wine in the state’s warmer districts. Somm Secret—Petite Sirah is not a smaller version of Syrah but it is an offspring of Syrah and the now nearly extinct French Alpine variety called Peloursin.
Positioned between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Lodi appellation, while relatively far inland, is able to maintain a classic Mediterranean climate featuring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. This is because the appellation is uniquely situated at the end of the Sacramento River Delta, which brings chilly, afternoon “delta breezes” to the area during the growing season.
Lodi is a premier source of 100+ year old ancient Zinfandel vineyards—some dating back as far as 1888! With low yields of small berries, these heritage vines produce complex and bold wines, concentrated in rich and voluptuous, dark fruit.
But Lodi doesn’t just produce Zinfandel; in fact, the appellation produces high quality wines from over 100 different grape varieties. Among them are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc as well as some of California’s more rare and unique grapes.
The Mettler Family has roots in the wine industry dating back to the 1770s, and they have been growing wine grapes in the Lodi appellation since the late 1800s when their first Lodi vineyards were planted. The family farming tradition continued and in the 1940s, sixth generation grape grower Carl Mettler married Gladys Handel—also from a well-known farming family. This helped to expand the family’s vineyards.