Helen’s Tasting Notes: “Sumo is a Cote Rotie twist on Petite Sirah – Petite Sirah co-fermented with Viognier, and blended with a small amount of Syrah. The 2019 Sumo is a blend of 83% Petite Sirah, 11% Syrah, and 6% Viognier, all from the rocky, volcanic, impeccably-and-organically-farmed Shake Ridge Vineyard. 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 2019 Sumo has a deep, dark nose of brambly blackberry, blueberry jam, black licorice, black cherry stones, violets, cassis bud, cedar, and a hint of white pepper. The palate has a silky entry with seamless, velvet-textured tannins throughout to the finish, subtly framing the blue and black fruit, asphalt, cherry blossom, dried herb and spice flavors on the palate. 300 cases produced.”
Notes: The inky hued 2019 Sumo (83% Petite Sirah, 11% Syrah, and 6% 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.
Vinous 97 Points (2018) :The 2018 Sumo is remarkably polished for a Petite Syrah-based wine. Inky blue/purplish fruit, lavender, mint and spice fill out the layers effortlessly. Helen Keplinger has done a brilliant job taming the young Petite tannins. The Sumo is deep and potent, but not at all overdone or heavy. It is one of the most compelling wines I have tasted from Helen Keplinger.”