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Auburn-grown Pruett syrah earns top rating

Race car driver Scott Pruett and his wife, Judy, celebrate their first harvest in 2008 at the vineyard they planted at their Auburn home. Since then, their Pruett Vineyard estate syrahs have rated among the nation’s best.
Race car driver Scott Pruett and his wife, Judy, celebrate their first harvest in 2008 at the vineyard they planted at their Auburn home. Since then, their Pruett Vineyard estate syrahs have rated among the nation’s best. Sacramento Bee file

Racing legend and winemaker Scott Pruett continues to produce eye-popping syrahs at his tiny Auburn vineyard. As he shifts gears to focus full time on sports car racing, Pruett received word that his 2012 Pruett Vineyard Championship Cuvee Estate Syrah had been rated the top syrah in California – and the nation – by industry bible Wine Spectator.

The syrah, which is sold out, received a 96-point rating, a record for any Sierra foothills wine.

In its March 31 edition , Wine Spectator wrote, “Topping the list of new releases is the Pruett Syrah Champion Cuvee 2012, the highest-scoring bottling ever from the Sierra Foothills. This is an amazing wine that delivers a wide range of flavors in a tightly focused package.”

All four estate-grown Pruett Vineyard wines rated 90 points or higher.

“We are so humbled and honored to achieve these kind of scores,” Pruett said.

Priced from $29 to $100, Pruett Vineyard wines are sold on its website.

Pruett, who turns 55 next month, planted 3 acres of syrah grapes at his Auburn home overlooking the American River. He and his wife, Judy, have become ambassadors for their growing wine region, as well as auto racing. Their first vintage – 60 cases – was released in 2010.

“Just as in racing, it takes a team of dedicated individuals working together to achieve great things,” he said.

Locally, Carpe Vino restaurant in Auburn serves the Pruett syrahs and recently hosted wine dinners celebrating his new vintages.

Auto racing still is Pruett’s primary job. A five-time Grand-Am champion, Pruett now competes in the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship series; his next race will be in Sebring, Fla., on March 21.

“This has been a true labor of love,” Pruett said of his wines. “We continue to be fascinated with the winemaking process, such a beautiful blend of science and artistry.”

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

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