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For our third installment exploring wineries in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, we turn to Peterson.  There, for over twenty-five years, owner Fred Peterson has a passion for producing old-world style wines.  He and winemaker Jamie (his son), approach their craft with a “Zero-Manipulation” philosophy.  This means each wine highlights the particular character of each vineyard and each vintage, rather than a consistently similar style that mass-market wineries strive to achieve.  From what we tasted, the method is serving them well.

Peterson 2012 Petite Sirah

Grape(s): 86% Petite Sirah, 7% Carignane, & 7% Zinfandel

Region: Dry Creek Valley, Ca

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

From a lovely purple hue comes aromas of blueberries, blackberries, and black cherries, along with dark chocolate and anise elements. Cocoa tannins carry flavors of blueberry, cherry, and boysenberry into expressions of dark chocolate, smoky vanilla, and violets on the palate. A rich, mouth-filling wine that delivers opulent fruit now, but still has the backbone to hold up to or a spicy steak fajita or a few years in your cellar. 350 cases were made.

Rating: 90

Peterson 2013 Zinfandel

Grape(s): 85% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 4% Grenache, & 3% Carignane

Region: Dry Creek Valley, Ca

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Blackberries, plums, and a nod of strawberries mingle with dark chocolate and spice on the nose. A nice fruit core of blackberry, cherry, and plum comes forth with a sip, moving into chocolate, clove, and pepper accents. Nice depth, good balance, this wine hits a lot of right notes. 1,200 cases produced.

Rating: 90

Peterson 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 80% Cabernet, 10% Merlot, 7% Cab Franc, & 3% Petit Verdot

Region: Dry Creek Valley, Ca

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

The nose offers an array of aromas, as cassis and blackberries coalesce with bell pepper, cinnamon, and dark chocolate. On the palate, flavors of currant and blackberry are rounded out by herbaceous, barrel, and earthy notes. Nicely structured and not nearly as fruit-forward as so many Cali Cabs, it will do well with food or with a few years in the cellar. 750 cases were made.

Rating: 89+

Peterson 2013 Sangiovese

Grape(s): 100% Sangiovese

Region: Dry Creek Valley, Ca

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

A mix of spicy, earthy, and cherry aromas rise up from a glass. Strawberry and bing cherry flavors interweave with some earthy and peppery highlights on the palate. If you’re looking for light and fruit-driven, this wine could be a little hearty for you, but if you prefer bolder flavors, it is a winner. 275 cases produced.

Rating: 89