Wine created from old vines tell a story of another place, of another time, and we marvel at this – we see the backdrop to this walking the vineyard, seeing the broken down tractors and artefacts in the vineyard, and relish the opportunity to provide that experience to others. Planted in 1939 by Alfred Frediani, who still helps with the farming today, these vines are on Pickett Road in Calistoga on unbelievably great soils. The vines display the influence of this great terroir in their tiny size, given their age. The 2013 vintage is remarkably lithe and supple with aromas of black fruits, dark chocolate, a high-toned strawberry note, black pepper, dried thyme and sweet vanilla. The palate is the most lush and layered we have encountered from this site, adding length to the finish, which soars.
Rich and thick, with an appealing savory side. The core oozes with blackberry jam, white pepper, sandalwood, chocolate and sage notes. The tannins provide plenty of traction, but end up feeling lush rather than drying. Drink now through 2030.
One of the most unique wines in the range, the 2013 Petite Sirah Old Vine oozes character and class. Inky blue and purplish fruit, smoke, licorice, crème de cassis and spices are some of the signatures. The Old Vine offers plenty of Petite density, yet the tannins are also nicely tamed, which makes for a wine that can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring.
The 100% Syrah, the 2013 Syrah Scarpa was aged 18 months in 50% new French oak from the Phoenix Ranch Vineyard in Coombsville. This is a tiny production cuvée. Opaque purple in color, with big, thick blackberry and raspberry notes intermixed with licorice and white flowers, it is full-bodied, opulent and a lusty style of Syrah to drink over the next 7-8 years.