Last week, I posted an article discussing “Do you pick your wine by the label?” In today’s blog I am going to recommend a label for you to consider trying.
Somewhere back in my early days of wine collecting I joined the Switchback Ridge mailing list and purchased some of the winery’s 2004 vintage wines. Today I am reporting on one of those wines. But first, let me tell you about my long-standing relationship with Switchback Ridge and its owners.
Switchback Ridge was founded in 1999 by Kelly Peterson and she is still the managing partner today along with being the “chief cook and bottle washer,” as they say. Switchback produced its first wine that same year with winemaker Robert Foley. He has continued to make Switchback wines ever since that first label. All of the grapes for Switchback wines are sourced from the Peterson Family Vineyards located on Silverado Trail near Calistoga, Calif. The vineyards are owned and managed by John and Joyce Peterson. John is Kelly’s father. The 100-acre site was purchased by the Peterson family in 1914 and currently has 21 acres of vines. I have had the privilege of walking this beautiful vineyard and meeting John and Joyce.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been collecting Switchback Ridge Wines, beginning with their 2004 vintages. They produced three different wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah which they have done for years. I have what is referred to as a vertical (when you have more than six vintages in consistent years) of their Cabernets, starting with the 2004 vintage going through the 2016 vintage. Currently I am waiting on my 2017 allocation to be shipped. I also have a number of their Petite Sirah vintages.
I first had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Peterson Holmes at a Cabernet wine tasting at the Dean and Deluca Store in St. Helena, Calif. Kelly was pouring her wines along with a number of other wineries. After the wine tasting I had the opportunity to chat with her while at dinner with my good friends Didier Loustau and winemaker Sean Larkin. Since that time, she has been kind enough to share her wine knowledge with me, give me some much-needed guidance and donate some of her wine to one of our Adler Bear Carris Benefits. She remains on my must-see list when I am in Napa Valley.
Not long ago I was in my wine cellar, selecting my wine of the evening and picked Kelly’s 2004 Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah. I have found over the years that Switchback Ridge wines, although bold, and rich remain tight and don’t open well for a number of years after bottling. Generally, I let them lay down in my cellar for several years before I drink them. After some aging they open nicely and drink perfectly. With the 2004 Petite Sirah, the drinking window allegedly runs until 2026. At this stage in its development it is a well-aged wine and is pouring wonderfully.
The wine was rated at release by Robert Parker at 95 out of 100 points and a year later it was rated at 94 out of 100 points by Wine Spectator magazine. After drinking the wine, I am sure that it has not lost any of its flavor profile since it was rated. On the nose there were aromas of black fruit, flowers and graphite (pencil lead). On the palate this wine was very full-bodied and fleshy in the mouth. You could taste the black berries, vanilla, fruit and it was a little spicy near the finish. The finish was pretty well balanced with good tannins. The finish was also lengthy and coated the inside of my mouth.
Given my years of experience drinking the Switchback Ridge wines and the passion the Peterson’s have towards their wines, I highly recommend you try some Switchback Ridge Wines.
The easiest way to do that is to contact them via their website: www.switchbackridge.com or contact Luke Speer at 707-942-4787 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Luke is the Director of Hospitality and Sales. He is very helpful and can answer any of your questions.
Oktoberfest Wine & Beer Dinner With Iechyd Da Brewing Company at LEX 530
Mark your calendars for the next LEX 530 Wine Dinner which will be held on October 15, 2019, at the LEX 530 Event Center in Elkhart. This Oktoberfest Wine & Beer Dinner will feature premium wines selected by vintner Carl Tiedemann as well as craft beers provided by Iechyd Da Brewing Company. The event begins at 6:00 pm with dinner starting at 6:30 pm. More information coming soon!
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- September 20 – International Grenache Day
- November 7 – International Merlot Day
- November 14 – International Tempranillo Day
- November 20 – International Zinfandel Day
- December 4 – Cabernet Franc Day
- December 20 – National Sangria Day
- December 31 – National Champagne Day