Overview of the Wine
In 2004, I moved to the Priorat region in Spain to start the winery for a group of partners who had purchased a vineyard there. Over the next three years of living there full-time and then traveling back and forth from Napa Valley, I became steeped in the culture, lifestyle, food and wines.
My husband, DJ, visited me often and we traveled throughout southern France, the Languedoc, and the Rhone. We became even bigger fans of the regional wines, as well as the complete Mediterranean way of life – the kitchen gardens, local fresh food, anything slathered in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt – all of which are enhanced by the delicious, food-friendly wines. These wines and ideals are a big part of our lives in Napa, so it was only natural to begin our wine project with California Grenache and Syrah, and vineyards that would allow them to touch their full potential.
Great wine is only possible from great vineyards – we select vineyards, farm grapes, and make wine by this mantra.
At our core, we are wine lovers, and we thoroughly enjoy the process of seeking out exceptional vineyards ideal for a specific varietal, and farming for the highest quality. We sweat the details with pleasure – focusing on small quantities made from small wine lots, respecting and responding to the uniqueness of each site and year. Working hard but with finesse, we believe in gentle winemaking to create wines of balance and complexity that are true to their varietal and speak of their terroir and provenance.
Helen Keplinger and DJ Warner
Grape / Blend
85% Petite Sirah, 11% Syrah, and 4% Viognier
Amador County, California
Winemaker Tasting Notes
The Petite comes from three blocks, one is 80% rock and produces small, thick-skinned berries with intense aromatics and dense structure. The second Petite block also has very rocky soil with a western exposure - the berries are ever so slightly larger and the skins slightly thinner (remember this is still Petite!), bringing a juicy elegance to the blend. The third Petite block is at the bottom of a north-facing block, and is all about vibrant, fresh fruit - the lifter of the trio. The 2018 Sumo is a show-stopper. Aromas of ink, mixed berry cobbler, resin, lilies, carob, asphalt, boysenberry, blueberry, black peppercorn. The ultra silky, mouth-filling palate is broad and plush, with sweet blue and black fruit, savory black peppercorn, flowers, tar, and graphite persisting through the very end of the super-long finish.
94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The inky hued 2018 Sumo (85% Petite Sirah, 13% Syrah, and the rest Viognier) reveals a lively bouquet of blue fruits, violets, peony, spiced meats, and bouquet garni. This full-bodied, rich, yet elegant Petite Sirah has building tannins, terrific purity and a great finish. It’s another brilliant wine from the Sierra Foothills.
Product size: 750ml