2019 Corral Wine Co, Petite Sirah, Paso Robles.
The latest release from Corral Wine Co is their dark purple teeth staining 2019 Paso Petite Sirah, a wine with tons of personality, fruit density and a Cabernet like structure, it shows an array of blackberry, blueberry, plum and currant fruits along with floral tones, a chalky note, bitter coco, toasted coconut, smoky vanilla and lingering acacia. The vintage has plenty of life and freshness with supple tannin, a full bodied and enough acidity to make all the flavors pop and stand out with heightened details that certainly hints towards a long life and happy future in the bottle, but it might be tough to let this one rest peacefully for any amount of time as it is so good right now. This Full bodied effort comes from a vineyard on Paso’s western side where you get the limestone soils and some cool breezes, making for compelling and balanced wines, with hedonistic richness, as this Corral Petite Sirah displays to perfection. Owner Larry Bell and winemaker Adrien Valenzuela did this small batch wine with de-stemmed grapes and a cool fermentation before aging it in a combination of 50% new American oak and 50% neutral French barrels for a full 22 months, to allow the fruit to shine and give it just the right amount of opulence. This all American offering from Corral will thrill the Petite Sirah fans and adds a full throttle wine to their lineup, it will go great with a robust meal and or BBQ, it is a very different animal to their set of fine and more delicate Pinots, but one that impresses for the style, it reminds me a bit of Jaffurs and not far off Turley’s Pesenti Vineyard version, which I loved and reviewed earlier this year. Corral’s ultra fresh Zabala Sauvignon Blanc is a great starting point for this winery, it can be used as an aperitif and palate cleanser or served ice cold by the pool, after which comes the stony, but creamy Chardonnay that is also easy to use, then you get into the Pinots here, mostly from the SLH, along with the more taut and delicate Estate bottlings, that I enjoy most. Then you get Enz Vineyard, Lime Kiln Valley Zinfandel and this tasty Petite Sirah to finish out this alluring collection.

The Corral Wine Co was founded in 2017, in the Bell family barn in Corral de Tierra, a little area between Carmel Valley and Salinas, when they barreled down their first batch of estate Pinot Noir from young vines they planted on the property. They are still in that same barn, but now they are a thriving local label that has created quite buzz, especially with their new tasting room in the Carmel Valley Village, right next door to Parsonage, giving them a place to showcase their quality set of wines. They have made even more wines from a selection of varietals, including the highly popular Sauvignon Blanc, a lovely Chardonnay, a Rosé of Pinot Noir, a complex and delicious set of Pinots from some of the best grapes on the Central Coast, including their tiny estate bottling, which is my favorite, as well as a special native yeast version, plus a Zinfandel and this inky and structured Petite Sirah. The 2018 vintage, was the debut for winemaker Adrien Valenzuela, who is now a partner here at Corral, and the new releases here have really shown his skills, these are authentic and high quality efforts, especially the Pinots and the whites which saw a perfect year in 2019, though I must say I was also very impressed by his Zinfandel and this Petite Sirah, that I’m focusing on with today’s wine of the day. As mentioned, a Salinas and Monterey County native, Valenzuela is one of hugely talented new generation of home grown local winemakers that are starting to make a name for themselves. Adrien, who was studying biology and nursing, took an internship at Estancia and caught the wine bug, and his first solo wine that he made in his garage turned out to be a hit at the Mid-State Fair, taking a Gold Medal and after working for a big wine company for a few years he got his chance with Larry Bell here at Corral, where is talents have been more fully realized, in particular with his 2019 lineup, and the rest is history. I got a chance to taste cask sample of the 2021 vintage and there’s a lot to look forward to at Corral and some very exciting stuff, including a new Cabernet Sauvignon, in the pipeline, this is a winery to keep an eye on.
($52 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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