Petite Sirah may have been developed in France, but it took transplanting to California for the grape to show its potential. The grape originated as a cross of Syrah pollen germinating a Peloursin plant by the French botanist, François Durif. The "petite" in the name of the grape refers to the size of its berries and not the vine, which has vigorous growth. The grape forms tightly packed clusters that can be susceptible to rotting in rainy environments, which in France spells disaster. In this case, what rots in France is manna in California where our warm weather dries out the clusters. Because of the high skin to juice ratio, this grape can add considerable tannins to wines for a big inky body as well as spicy, plummy, dark fruit flavors.
2015 Michael David Petite Petit, Lodi
List price 18.00; Our price 14.99
Petite Petit refers to the blend of grapes that make up this wine: 85% Petite Sirah & 15% Petit Verdot. Petite Verdot is often added to blends in order to add structure and Earthy notes. But it is the Petite Sirah that is layered, tannic and richly concentrated with black fruit flavors.
2013 San Simeon Petite Sirah, Paso Robles
List price 20.00; Our price 17.99
Initially there is a lovely, rich blackberry, vanilla aroma. In the mouth, the wine radiates expansive, mouth-filling fruit, wrapped in a velvet blanket with drying tannins in the full-bodied finish. It received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast: "Dark chocolate and black cherry converge for an elegant and dense nose in this wine from the Riboli family. The palate offers an intriguing range of flavors, from blackberry to cocoa dust and black pepper."
2014 Two Angels Petite Sirah, Lake County, Red Hills
List price 25.00; Our price 19.99
This dark purple wine boasts savory aromas of ripe blackberries, boysenberry, ripe plum and black pepper with a hint of roast game. Abundant fruit flavors in this well-structured wine are nicely integrated with toasted oak. The ample bodied, well-balanced wine has a wealth of fruit on the palate, with silkiness attributed to round, soft tannins. The finish is long and luxurious. Pair it with robust dishes, including beef, venison, turkey, game birds and semi-soft or hard cheeses.
2014 Michael David Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi
List price 24.00; Our price 19.99
This old vine Lodi vineyard produces wines of major concentration and considerable flavor. From the start, aromas of ripe berries and black tea jump forward to assault the senses. The aromas are then complimented with flavors of juicy plum, dark chocolate, and a sprinkling of black pepper. Michael David wines are not for the faint hearted. Charcoaled meats from the grill are handled handily.
2015 Tooth & Nail “The Stand” Petite Sirah, Paso Robles
List price 30.00; Our price 24.99
Ripe black fruit, figs, and boysenberry jam lift from the glass while intoxicating oak aromas of coffee, caramel and coco powder add to the complexity of this full-bodied lush wine. The palate finishes with sweet lingering tannins which rounds out this truly hedonistic wine. Wine Enthusiast gives it a 92 point rating: “This Petite Sirah, enhanced by 8% Syrah and 1% Viognier, is extremely dense on the nose, with aromas of blueberry, black currant, vanilla, tarragon and fudge. Mouth coating tannins and powerful acidity bloom on the palate, where black-cherry-laced chocolate-cake flavors rise to an espresso bean finish.” The winemaker added 1% Viognier just to prove that he could.
2015 Stags’ Leap Petite Sirah, Napa Valley
List price 35.00; Our price 29.99
This is a classic example of the full-bodied, rich varietal that proves Napa Petite Sirah is ready for “show time”. Generous in flavor, with blackberry, black cherry, and subtle hints of rose tea, vanilla, graphite, mint, clove spice and tobacco, this wine exhibits the full spectrum of Petite Sirah’s signature characteristics. The beautiful flavors remain fresh throughout, the tannins are dense, but unbelievably soft, and the finish is luxuriously long.
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