The famed French ampelographer Pierre Galet asserts that Petite Sirah is a descendant of Durif, a nearly extinct French varietal. DNA testing of California Petite Sirah of the early 1990s suggested it was actually related to the famed Rhone varietal Syrah. It’s known for its substantial tannins and deep color. Though often used in blends to shore up softer, paler red wines, it has garnered a strong cult following for its dark character and magnificent ageability.Label art by Hilary Brace of Santa Barbara, CADownload Tasting Notes
The 2009 Petite Sirah is richly layered
with concentrated flavors of ripe plum, dark cherry and a hint
of cocoa, which are attuned by its blueberry, black pepper and
licorice aromas. Its deep purple hue seems to serve as a reminder
of its bold seasonings, but in fact its delivery is well balanced
without overwhelming the palate; great for sipping or with a food
A few things define the 2009 harvest in particular.
Rains in May took the edge off the drought and were responsible
for the beautiful, full-strength photosynthetic canopies. The
mild summer temperatures slowed grape maturation, but a few
late summer heat spells, which weren’t high enough and didn’t last
long enough to damage anything, gave the grapes a good push.
The cool weather returned and we were back to slow, even ripening.
This back and forth seemed to have worked out well for the
Strict tannin management is a must with
Petite Sirah. The grapes were cold soaked prior to fermentation
and spent around 12 days on the skins. The grapes were lightly
pressed to maintain a delicate balance between flavors, color and
tannins. The wine spent 18 months in American and French oak
before being bottled in March 2011.
890 cases produced.