A row of barrels in the Relic cave.

2017 Old Vines Petite Sirah

Sadly, Alfred Frediani passed away in late 2018, but his legacy remains alive through these vines, which he planted himself in 1939 at the age of 18. Having always been dry and organically-farmed in incredibly rocky Cortina soils, the vines year after year display incredible complexity and nuance. The heat in 2017 was no problem for these old vines, but the wines show that extra element of exoticism and vibrant fruit. Look for a bouquet of hyper-ripe marionberries, blackberry syrup, white pepper, wintergreen, cinnamon and sweet vanilla. The palate is intense and dense almost beyond belief, with the kind of finish that just tells you that this will age for a long time, perhaps decades.

  • 100% Petite Sirah
  • Planted by Alfred in 1939
  • Organic and dry farmed since the beginning
  • Incredibly rocky, volcanic, Cortina soils adjacent to the famed Eisele Vineyard on Pickett Road in Calistoga
  • Aged for 21 months in 30% new French Oak barrels
  • Unfined and unfiltered
  • 167 cases produced from 7 barrels

Polished yet deeply structured, with expressive blackberry, toasty mocha and sandalwood notes that build tension and richness toward firm tannins. Best from 2021 through 2030.
Tim Fish
Wine Spectator Insider
April 30, 2020