Prager Winery & Port Works is a boutique, family-run business in the heart of Napa Valley, boast three generations of Prager “Porters.” Although their physical location is a bit off the beaten path for most tourists, I was lucky enough to come into contact with them through social media. Their area of expertise is, obviously, Ports, but they do craft “regular” wines as well. I thought the best place to start my adventure in Port-land would be to experience one of their wines, diving deep into the main ingredient of their product of passion.
About the Wine: Prager’s Napa Valley Petite Sirah is made from 100% Petite Sirah grapes harvested from their estate vineyard in St. Helena. The fresh, whole-cluster pressed grapes were aged for two and half years in American oak followed by three years of aging in the bottle.
Flavor Profile: The Petite Sirah is a deep, thick, syrup-y purple in the glass, emitting a beautiful aroma of rich dark fruits. The sight along with the smell preps you for something intense. I’ll be honest and say I was a bit timid when I took my first sip, as big and bold are not always my ideal descriptors for wine. But sip I did and my mind, my palate, my body, was immediately put to ease by the utter comfort of this wine.
From start to finish, the Petite Sirah is as plump and plush as a velvet blanket. Primary flavors include black mission figs, medjool dates, with just a hint of overripe black cherries. In the background you’ll find a hint of baking spices playing along nicely with those fruits — think nutmeg, unsweetned cocoa and maybe the slightest hint of cinnamon (slight). I cannot express eloquently enough how well-rounded this wine is. Despite the darkness of the fruits and spices, the wine quite juicy. It’s full bodied — in a voluptuous, curvaceous, way. Almost sexy. The tannins are like a silent partner, working to hold together and uplift the wine without taking credit for the work.
And the finish is just as soft and supple as the start leaving just a little lingering aftertaste of that toasted American oak.
Drinking this wine is quite like being wrapped up in your favorite blanket or in the arms of your true love.
Food Pairing: I created a meal centered around this wine. I wanted to the wine to dictate my dinner’s flavor profile so I could truly dedicate my tastebuds to studying the Petite Sirah in all its glory.
I enjoyed Prager Napa Valley Petite Sirah with a crispy skin duck breast drizzled with a fig and red wine reduction sauce. The side was a farm-inspired salad of fresh rosettes, pickled black radish, and roasted fresh figs, garnished with blue cheese and toasted walnuts. And I have to say from the fresh figs to the funky cheese, the food really paid homage to the Prager family’s style of wine — that homegrown, fresh from the farm, plucked and prepped with loving hands style.
More Info: The Pragers were kind enough to send me three samples — two Ports and this Petite Sirah. Like I said, I wanted to start with the wine to see what kind of product they’re working with when they make their Ports. And now that I have, I’m more enthused than ever to learn more about those Ports. So stay tuned for that.
In the mean time, I do highly recommend tasting their products. If your’e in the Napa Valley area, get off the main highway and book a tasting with the Pragers — I understand there are some optional snacks you can include as well. And if you’re not in the area, please visit the Prager Winery & Port Works website to learn more about their wines and Ports and to order from them directly.
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