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 Vintage2007 Label 1 of 13 
ProducerSwitchback Ridge (web)
VarietyPetite Sirah
VineyardPeterson Family Vineyard
SubRegionNapa Valley
AppellationNapa Valley

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2016 and 2027 (based on 12 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah Peterson Family Vineyard on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 93.1 pts. and median of 92 pts. in 36 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by MJTed on 12/14/2014: Extracted, concentrated and rich. Still a baby but looking forward to how this might evolve. (967 views)
 Tasted by Venturifan on 8/16/2014: Received as a gift. Just not my style of wine. I'm sure that people that like this kind of overly extracted, high alcohol oak bomb would like this. (1320 views)
 Tasted by maitredgreg2 on 7/19/2014 & rated 98 points: 98+ (1405 views)
 Tasted by ogres3 on 7/6/2014 & rated 92 points: Decanted over an hour. Deep inky hues. Good black and blue fruit. Decent finish. Very nice but didn't match up to a Montafi Ranch Carlisle zin. (1384 views)
 Tasted by brianngibson on 4/28/2014 & rated 94 points: Via Coravin. Loads of blackberry and figs. Tannins certainly softening from 3 years ago. The heat is not too significant, but I think if you had a couple of glasses you might feel it. Quite a bit of sediment. Definitely better as a dessert wine, as it might be too big for accompanying food. (1775 views)
 Tasted by ogres3 on 4/26/2014 & rated 92 points: Great example of wonderful 07 fruit. Although decanted about 90 minutes, the graphite/pencil lead that I'm not a big fan of took about 24 hours to dissipate - and left a wine with complex integrated fruit and minimal tannins that was quite enjoyable. Very pleasant. (1240 views)
 Tasted by Billiken on 3/25/2014 & rated 94 points: Just love this wine!!! (1066 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 3/15/2014: Jamie Kutch Visits The OC For Dinner (Luciana's In Dana Point (South OC)): Is it wrong to drink Switchback at 11AM? It simply cannot be! While not my norm to drink at 11AM, I did open this in advance of a dinner later this evening where it will be the closing wine with a chocolate dessert. Having been open now about 30 mins, I don't smell any heat or prune yet, although it does a bloody note on the aromatic. The palate? Lots of cocoa, dark chocolate, some chalk and dark berry, with some acid lingering in the finish underneath the fruit markers. With 8 hours to slow ox, we'll see how this does tonight but I offer this intro note for those who may have a bottle they need to open in a pinch and pour...it's fairly closed, restrained with this little amount of air....then at dinner, while I love this producer and consistently buy the wines, this vintage is too big for me. Listed on the bottle at 16.8% and even with some chill, it shows, especially when the wine warms up. Has the dark fruit and petite core I enjoy but the wine's alcohol was too prominent aromatically for me last night. I only had about 1.5 ozs, given we had to spread the pours and this was about as much as I wanted. I don't have any more of the 2007 and that's ok. (1513 views)
 Tasted by walkerjfw on 11/15/2013 & rated 96 points: Dinner at Chez Walker avec Lauren/Colin/Wendy/Simon/Andrea/Dave/Isobel/Jeroen: This was the main event for the evening - needed something to pair with a cassoulet with a mix of sausages and spice. Still early on this wine (per Parker) but thought it was up to the task...Foley wines age very well but also (in my experience) can be accessible young

Decanted 3 bottles for 3+ hours - definitely recommend - was tight out of the bottle, needs some air time to really show.

Color is a deep/inky purple. Off the charts in richness as well as a full bodied style. Dark fruits, blackberry, licorice, meats, coffee, pepper, sweet spices, vanilla oak (mid palate). Tannins sweet and integrated(ing).

Concentrated, mouth coating texture - a real "purple teeth" effect from this wine. This is still very young but drink beautifully right now. A great pairing in Fall/Winter for any grilled meats, stews or braised meats. WOTN for this crew (1498 views)
 Tasted by ogres3 on 9/30/2013 & rated 92 points: Big bold CA wine. Wife a big fan. Decanted about an hour. Ruby hues with massive amounts of dark berry fruit. Tannins integrated but could go several more years. Very nice wine if big and bold is your style. (1503 views)
 Tasted by Billiken on 7/5/2013 & rated 93 points: This is an outstanding wine, but needs time. (1713 views)
 Tasted by themki on 6/3/2013 & rated 98 points: Fig, blackberry, coconut, and oak blend magnificently in this hedonistic blockbuster. Sumptuous and unforgettable. Drinking beautifully now. (1951 views)
 Tasted by MAXIMUM SATISFACTION on 12/25/2012 & rated 91 points: Easily the darkest wine I’ve seen (pitch black). Reminds me of a solid Aussie Shiraz. Loads of oak, menthol, vanilla, anise, black fruit, and a little to much prune. The alcohol is definitely noticeable. Not my style for the price.

See more detail at
http://maximumsatisfaction.tumblr.com/post/38823953131 (2288 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 11/18/2012: Enjoyed at the end of our annual party, with dessert that was an apple crumble or something decadent like that. Putting the dark fruit and intense flavor with that dessert, it works great. This vintage is dark, it's big and there is heat in the aromatic. Hell, it's labeled at 16.8% so it's not like we have to have an argument about subtlety. With this vintage, you open, you stain your glass, you enjoy it!! (2475 views)
 Tasted by Lord Rodney on 8/2/2012 & rated 87 points: I had a hard time drinking this. Not because of the 16,7% vol but more that it was simply too pruney which is an element I simply detest in wine. (2728 views)
 Tasted by cabwiz on 4/28/2012 & rated 92 points: Definitely a Foley wine, heavily extracted, grape syrup, fruit bomb. A nice wine but I'm definitely not as big of fan of this or petie sirah as in years past. I am preferring old world rhone wines right now. (3105 views)
 Tasted by peter_sichel on 2/28/2012 & rated 93 points: At 16.8% alcohol, it was borderline port. I felt the alcohol more than tasted it, so the delivery was right. Syrupy and grainy in texture it offered a huge mouth-feel of dark ripe fruit. At first there was menthol / mint on the nose and then it faded to smoky meat. Long finish with jumpy tannin. (2624 views)
 Tasted by brianngibson on 11/8/2011 & rated 94 points: Teeth numbing. Dark and syrupy. Blackberry tart. Very, very concentrated after four years and needs another five years probably to loosen up just a little. Wonder if my cellar has room to hold these big boys that long. (3007 views)
 Tasted by MayValley on 8/28/2011: Black blockbuster. Some sweetness, ripe but be aware af the alkohol. (2702 views)
 Tasted by ravbik on 5/31/2011 & rated 95 points: Big, bold,lots of depth, thick black fruits, berries, some sweet tones, nice tannins to finish, mild oakiness (2681 views)
 Tasted by bubbachumps on 9/29/2010 & rated 93 points: Big and flavorful as others have mentioned. Serious structure with a tremendous amount of fruit. Tannins can be felt streaming through this motor oil of a wine. Delicious, but not for everyone. (3634 views)
 Tasted by Frank Murray III on 7/17/2010: Dinner and Wine (My House): Big and flavorful. I got the tannin on this wine finally but it's not nearly as large and structured as the 2006. Dark like motor oil and a glass stainer. (3957 views)
 Tasted by Uglypinga on 7/6/2010: Huge huge wine up front with loads of charcoal, black roasted fruits and sweet spices. Needs air, air air. The palate is as huge as one might expect with a heavy feel and a bit of a grainy texture. Tannic finish (duh!) that ends chalky. Needs a ton of time as expected, but really good for what it is. (3727 views)
 Tasted by Jay A on 5/12/2010 & rated 90 points: Pretty amazing that someone could get the Petit Sirah that ripe without any harsh tannins. A nice ooze monster if you are into that sort of thing, but lacking any real complexity. It was a flashy wine with its fruit and ripeness. Tannins were ripe and integrated. While the wine wasn't hot at all, the alcohol sure hit me hard later on in the night. If you are a carnivore looking to wash down a hunk of meat, this is a wine for you. (4569 views)
 Tasted by Mike V on 4/9/2010 & rated 92 points: Yea you will have to like the style. It is what it is , black sweet tannic and oaky. Works on Friday night after a long week with steak burritos. (4178 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2010, IWC Issue #150
(Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah Peterson Family Vineyard Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Switchback Ridge

Producer website

Switchback Ridge Wines are sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson family since 1914 and encompasses nearly 100 acres located at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. For over 75 years the property was primarily maintained as a farm and plum orchard, with vines intermingled amongst the trees. In 1990, the orchards were replanted to vineyard, where there are currently 18 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah vines, in addition to a three acre 50+ year old Petite Sirah block that John Peterson helped plant as a child.

Petite Sirah

Varietal character (Appellation America) | P.S. I Love You: A Petite Sirah Advocacy Organization

Petite Sirah is a variety of red wine grape grown in France, California, Israel and Australia. Recently, wineries located in Washington State's Yakima Valley, Maryland, Arizona, West Virginia, Mexico, Chile's Colchagua Valley and Maipo Valley, and Ontario's Niagara Peninsula have also produced wines from Petite Sirah grapes. Though developed in France, it is nearly extinct there as of 2002, hanging on in limited plantings in the Isère and Ardêche regions of the Rhône Valley and in Palette, a tiny appellation in Provence. It is the main grape known in the US and Israel as Petite Sirah with over 90% of the California plantings labeled "Petite Sirah" being Durif grapes; the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms recognizes "Durif" and "Petite Sirah" as interchangeable synonyms referring to the same grape. The grape originated as a cross of Syrah pollen germinating a Peloursin plant. On some occasions, Peloursin and Syrah vines may be called Petite Sirah, usually because the varieties are extremely difficult to distinguish in old age.

The 'petite' in the name of this grape refers to the size of its berries and not the vine, which is particularly vigorous. The leaves are large with a bright green upper surface and paler green lower surface. The grape forms tightly packed clusters that can be susceptible to rotting in rainy environments. The small berries creates a high skin to juice ratio which can produce very tannic wines if the juice goes through an extended maceration period. In the presence of new oak barrels the wine can develop an aroma of melted chocolate.

Petite Sirah produces dark, inky colored wines that are relatively acidic with firm texture and mouth feel. The bouquet has herbal and black pepper overtones, with plum and blackberry flavors on the palate. Compared to Syrah, the wine is noticeably more dark and purplish in color. The wines are very tannic with aging ability that can eclipse 20 years in the bottle.


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley Wineries and Wine (Napa Valley Vintners) | Article in CellarTracker

Napa Valley

Napa Valley AVA

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