Why this title? Simple, Mountain Tides Wine Company is all about one single varietal, Petite Sirah. While at the same time, they source their grapes from a variety of organically grown vineyard locations and thus the same (Petite Sirah) and different (from various AVA’s). What is exciting to see is how each terroir changes the end product be it from Contra Costa County to Sonoma Valley to Lodi to the Sierra foothills. Each terroir provides has a distinct color, aroma and tastes.
Scott Kirkpatrick and Allison Watkins make up the husband/wife ownership of Mountain Tides Wine Company. Having met in 2014 and married in 2016, they took their combined artistic passions as winemaker (Scott) and photographer (Allison) to handle the complete winery process. They both shared a love of Petite Sirah and wanted to showcase the wine varietal and its change in different places, climates and soils. They further extended not only the varietal but how the varietal is presented in a rose, whole & partial cluster soaks, etc. The stated goal is to let the grapes speak for the terrain from which it grows and its unique personality.
I recently had the privilege of tasting four of their wines with each representing unique, small artisan vineyards to produce divergent wines all being Petite Sirah. The first wine to be enjoyed was their 2018 Clements Hills Rosé of Petite Sirah. Clement Hills AVA is located in the southeasterly portion of the larger Lodi AVA. The soils range from loamy to clay and just below the topsoil, are both granite and volcanic rock. On the eyes this coloration was light, unique and alluring. On the nose and palate, the wine gave strong hints of strawberry and honeydew. With high acidity, this is both a refreshing patio wine or compliments a tremendous number of dishes. We paired this with a chicken & cheese dish, multi-grain rice and medley of asparagus and mushrooms. This energetic and lively wine danced like an Argentina tango rhythmically in the mouth with the meal in perfect synchronization.
The second wine tasted was the 2018 California Petite Sirah. Here a more traditional red coloration was evidenced but still not a dark inky black. On the nose aromas of fruit punch and jam made this an easy sipping wine. Add whole cluster soaking for a tinge of spice, this produced a long lasting finish with some “earthy qualities”.
The third wine was the 2018 Contra Costa Petite Sirah. This wine came from four vineyards all located in Contra Costa County. The wine was light, soft and clear for a Petite Sirah. On the nose and palate Scott stated “red fruit, blackberries and sweet spices like clove and cardamom” filled the senses. Strawberry, blackberry and raspberry were the red/dark fruits of distinction combined with a tartness or soft bitterness to counterbalance the fruit. The wine was paired with a simple spiced BBQed beef burger, French fried potatoes and a garden salad. Again, the seared burger and wine made an extraordinary partnership.
The fourth wine tasted was the 2018 Palmero Family Vineyard Petite Sirah. The Palmero Family Vineyard is located on a rocky swale in the Borden Ranch sub AVA of Lodi. This is the most intensely dark wine Mountain Tides have produced to date. An intense royal purple coloration with layers of opulence. Those layers include blackberries, black plums, violets and floral characteristics. 50% whole cluster soaks provide just a hint of spiciness, but overall the velvety smoothness was dominant in the finish. This wine will standup to a variety of meats and dishes.
In just a few short years, Scott & Allison have embarked on a “road less traveled” but yet rewarding with various high ratings/scores on the wines, a loyal wine club and Petite Sirah lovers clamoring for more! Can’t wait for their newest release………