Halcón vineyards are located at around 800 meters above sea level in Yorkville Highlands of Mendocino County, California. The vineyards sit above the fog line, making for warmer temperatures in the morning and late evening than in the Anderson Valley below and further to the west. The combination of altitude and breezes, however, keep the vineyards cool during the day. This diurnal shift lengthens the growing season and allows the grapes to keep more acidity while fully ripening. The altitude, schist soils, and cool breezes were precisely why Paul and Jackie Gordon chose the site, with its similarity to that of the Northern Rhône.
The fruit for the Halcón Tierra Petite Sirah comes from the steeply terraced Theopolis vineyards, located at the northern border for which petite sirah can fully ripen. The wine was fermented using 50% whole-cluster fermentation, a method where hand-harvested grapes are fermented with the stems attached. The process brings out more complexity from the stems’ tannins, along with more structure and spice. The wine is then matured in large, neutral French puncheons. The wine is neither fined not filtered, so no need to panic if you see some sediment in the bottle! Notes of black pepper, cassis, blue fruits, and meaty notes combine with strong, yet fine tannins that are balanced by crisp acidity. The Halcón Petite Sirah will show best with food and will be even better 3 to 5 years from now.