Summit Lake Vineyards Sophia Lynn Petite Sirah, Howell Mountain 2016

Deep ruby color; plum, blueberry, violets, chocolate, cedar on the nose; plum, blueberry, raisin, tobacco, meat, chocolate, oak, baking spice, pepper on the palate.

Summit Lake Vineyards Sophia Lynn Petite Sirah, Howell Mountain 2016

Dry; impressively controlled tannin for a petite sirah; balancing acidity. Rich. Full body. Plush, velvety mouthfeel. Extended finish, where the expected petite sirah tannins finally assert themselves. Amazing wine. Blend of 93% petite sirah, 7% old vine zinfandel. Matured 26 months in French oak, 50% new, 25% once filled, 25% neutral. A very deft hand handled the oak aging. The oak is there, but it is a background chorus, not a featured singer in opera. Held a year in bottle prior to release; 14.8% ABV.

Summit Lake’s story began in 1971 when Bob Brakesman purchased 28 acres of what become the winery and vineyard. He spent a year cleaning up the property, then delivered the first “Home Wine” in 1973. In 1974-75, Bob and his wife, Sue, hand-grafted zinfandel on ancient vines. The operation became a California bonded winery in 1985.

Bob and Sue Brakeman early days

Summit Lake is a family operation today. Children work the winery. Wines are named after grandchildren. Sue passed away in 2003 and daughter Heather came home to work full-time at the winery. Son Brian joined Summit Lake in 2009 and took over winemaking responsibilities.

Summit Lake Vineyards Sophia Lynn Petite Sirah, Howell Mountain 2016 is amazing wine. Sadly, Summit Lake only produces around 50 cases a year, so availability is limited. Be sure to visit the website, that likely is best way to grab a bottle of this delicious, impressive juice. A stunning pure petite sirah play. Pair with assertive beef; braised short ribs; Hungarian goulash; beef bourguignon; pork tenderloin; lamb; wild game—venison; blue cheese burger with caramelized onions; strong cheeses. $59

Summit Lake website, opening video showcases Howell Mountain

Summit Lake vineyard
Summit Lake vineyard in winter
Summit Lake vineyard and winery
Summit Lake winery and vineyard
Summit Lake winery and Summit Lake
Bob and Sue Brakeman early days