Big, no-nonsense wine. We found the fruit for our Cowboy Petite Sirah in Rhodes Vineyard, located in the eastern end of the Redwood Valley in Mendocino County. The low yields and dry-farmed fruit of this vineyard produce a Petite Sirah with a rich, extracted character ideal for this big, no-nonsense wine. Sloping red loam and shale soils cover the 60-acre site. The climate is influenced by its close proximity to the coast and the presence of the Pacific fog, which keeps overall temperatures relatively cool throughout the growing season. This temperate climate lengthens hangtime and allows the fruit to develop slowly for complex, concentrated flavors. Our Cowboy Petite Sirah is a true American original, showing rugged character, broad shoulders and a brawny build. Tobacco, leather and earth aromas saddle abundant dark fruit on the nose. The palate is long and balanced, with brambly berries and black plum touched by a hint of anise and oak spices. Well-integrated tannins hold the fruit into the finish. Like the solitary character it represents, there is nothing ostentatious here--just a big, straightforward wine that concisely and precisely articulates the nature of this varietal. This is one you can lay down for several years, or you can pop the cork and enjoy it with a fat rib-eye steak tonight.