2007 Mounts Family Winery Dry Creek Valley Petite Sirah

Mission Codename: Deep Purple

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Return to Mounts Family Vineyards, and procure their most popular wine, their delicious estate Petite Sirah – a wine which captivated the hearts of our Operatives in its 2006 vintage.

Mission Status: Accomplished

Current Winery: Mounts Family Vineyards

Wine Subject: 2007 Petite Sirah

Winemaker: David Mounts


The Mounts family grows a variety of grapes on their hillside estate in Sonoma County’s beautiful Dry Creek Valley. This is an area best known for producing rather incredible Petite Sirah. Agent Red recently paid the Mounts Family a visit on their estate vineyards, where they tasted their wines and learned about the family’s long history of farming, grape growing and winemaking in the valley. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Darkest purple, with color that remains deeply concentrated – through its inky heart and out to the very edge of the glass, where a fine ring of burgundy encircles the glass. On swirling, this wine shows a very heavy-looking surface. When the wine settles, it leaves behind tall, wine-stained legs that crawls slowly down the glass.

Smell – Unique Blackberry-anise torte is the first intriguing note to grace the nose. Just below these, you’ll find candied cherry, blueberry, dried meat, soft vanilla oak and a hint bramble.

Feel – Soft and light in the very first part of the first sip. Then, the wine reveals a lush, medium weight, with fine grained tannins and a soft minerality that lead to a crushed velvet dryness that pervades the entire palate.

Taste – Densely packed with dark flavors, this wine leads with ripe blackberry, dark plum, black cherry and softly smoky blackberry. After a moment, bright Bing cherry, tart cranberry, red currant and hard leather fill out the palate.

Finish – Bold and rich with dark flavors, the wine starts dark, but then goes more red, as plum and blackberry are replaced by tart cranberry and Bing cherry. As these tail off, the palate becomes slightly dry, with a distinctive – and exciting – crushed velvet feel that is accompanied by a soft and flinty minerality.

Conclusion – We went bonkers for the 2006 vintage of this wine, and we were so excited to find that we love today’s 2007 Mounts Family Petite Sirah, even more! The delicious fruit in this wine shines through, and you can actually taste the Petite Sirah grapes, as though they were tasted right off the vines – dust and all. Today’s wine is not as brash as previous vintages, or as many Dry Creek Petites, which can tend to be rather overpowering. Instead, this wine is nicely balanced, with dark and red fruit working together in perfect harmony. This wine is far more food-friendly than one might expect from a bold Petite. Pair with a grilled steak or BBQ pork ribs. Enjoy now, and cellar a few for the next several years. We are sure that this beauty will only continue to improve.

Mission Report:

What follows is a recap of our initial mission to Mounts Family Winery, wherein we refer to the Mounts Zinfandel which we featured last month. While that was an excellent wine, we like their Petite Sirah even better

It was a warm and beautiful morning. The temperature was close to 70 degrees and the sky was a perfect clear blue. It was a typical spring morning in the Dry Creek Valley. If only it was Spring! It was, in fact, the beginning of January where, even here in California, we should be experiencing cooler temps – and our share of vine-sustaining rains!

Agent Syrah was with me on another training mission. For this one, he led the mission to Mounts Family Winery. I had given Agent Syrah the directive of locating a superb California Zinfandel. I gave him free reign, allowing him to choose the region and winery.

Almost immediately, he came up with a winery.

“What do you have,” I asked.

“Mounts. 06. Estate Zin. DCV. Intel suggests a classic DCV, ripe, lush, balanced. 400 cases.”

“Very good. Next steps?”

“I would suggest a direct infiltration. No extended surveillance. Proceed immediately.”

With that, we made our way to mounts.

After a drive through the beautiful Dry Creek Valley, we found ourselves at the bottom of a long uphill driveway. the drive led through pristine hillside vineyards, eventually leading us to the winery at the crest of the hill.

As we parked, a woman approached. Agent Syrh said, “Lana Mounts. General Manager and wife of David Mounts, the winemaker.”

If I was not already impressed, I was now. Agent Syrah was shaping up to be a fine Wine Spy.

Agent Syrah took command, introducing Lana to me as though he already knew her, and I was someone she needed to know. He cut right to the chase, explaining that we had been investigating her winery – and that we were here to evaluate and – if we loved their wines – appropriate Mounts Family wines for our Operatives.

Lana took us to here wine cave and we were soon joined by her husband, David Mounts. We tasted through their wines and we were very impressed. I gave Agent Syrah the signal and he quickly negotiated for a quantity of today’s excellent Mounts Family Estate Zinfandel.

If you ever find yourself in the Dry Creek Valley, stop in to Mounts for a tasting. The vineyards are beautiful, the people a pleasure to hang out with – and the wines are really wonderful.

Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for Agent Syrah’s future missions. I have a feeling that this young spy is destined for greatness.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Mounts Family Vineyard can be seen in this satellite photo.

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