Petite Sirah

California’s darling grape is game for grilling

Kian Tavakoli, formerly of Clos du Val and Opus One, makes the wine for Aver Family. Their small (8.25 acre) vineyard lies on a southwest-facing slope in the Santa Clara Valley, the cradle of American Petite Sirah. The 2010 Blessings is a delectably savory wine, with aromas of black and white pepper, grilled meat, spice, leather and dense black fruit. Just smelling it literally made my mouth water. In the mouth, it’s nearly full-bodied with corresponding powdery tannins but is precise and very nicely balanced. The mouth-coating flavors of blackberry, earth, spice, dark chocolate and pepper (black and white) are long-lasting. Try it with grilled lamb chops. Drink now through 2022. 100% Petite Sirah. Aged 22 months in 50% new French oak barrels. 150 cases. 14.5% alcohol. 92 points
Crooked Vine’s Del Arroyo Vineyard is the third-largest in the Livermore Valley and sits on Crane Ridge, a couple hundred feet above the valley floor. Opaque ruby-black with engaging aromas of mocha, black cherry, blackberry and Chinese five-spice (with an emphasis on anise). Rich fruit creates a full-bodied palate. The medium-plus, very light grained tannins are resolved enough to allow enjoyment without food. But the black cherry, dark berry, unsweetened chocolate, dark spice and earth flavors and lengthy finish will be delicious with any cut of steak you slap onto the grill. Drink now through 2018. 15% alcohol. 91+ points
Guglielmo has been making food-friendly wines in the Santa Clara Valley for almost 100 years. This one offers friendly aromas of spice, oak, blackberry, black cherry and cacao nib. Medium-plus body with gentle, powdery tannins and very moderate alcohol make it a very well-behaved dinner companion, as will flavors of ripe blackberry, chocolate and spice. It will hold up to red meat and be good with chicken, but I’d love to try it with grilled salmon. 100% estate-grown Petite Sirah. 405 cases. 13.2% alcohol. 88 points
Opaque ruby with a lovely and complex spice-driven nose that attracts from well beyond the glass: clove, cinnamon and a host of other spices plus violets and lavender, dried citrus zest and dark fruit. Medium-plus body with plenty of light-grained and lightly grippy tannins. Delicious flavors of black fruit, cherry, unsweetened chocolate, dark spice and oak. Enjoy with grilled leg of lamb. Drink now through 2018. 100% Petite Sirah. Aged 18 months in French and American oak, 40% new. 450 cases. 14.38% alcohol.  91+ points
Earthquake is the reserve-level wine of Michael David Winery, one of Lodi’s largest. This concentrated and mouth-filling wine marries Petite Sirah with a portion of Cabernet Sauvignon. There is plenty of rich black fruit and dark spice on both nose and palate, with earthy and floral accents. The tannins are substantial, but soft enough to not require food or decanting. The finish is generous. Drink now through 2018 with grilled lamb chops. Aged 19 months in French oak. 15.5% alcohol. 91 points
Opaque ruby-purple with aromas of spice, blackberry, dried orange zest, black pepper and oak. Medium-plus body and fine, powdery tannins with a little juiciness on the palate and flavors of blackberry, tangerine, chocolate, spice, oak and white pepper. Drink now through 2016 with filet mignon. 18 months in American oak, 100% new. 200 cases. 14.25% alcohol. 89 points

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  • Snooth User: gigi36
    162138 10

    Actually I have two bottles of petite sirah from the California winery Tulip Hill. It is a very nice wine.

    May 02, 2013 at 12:57 PM

  • Snooth User: McWine
    104328 57

    Foppiano baby and Bogle too. Great suggestions!

    May 02, 2013 at 2:30 PM

  • Snooth User: Texmax
    377173 1

    Discovered Petite Sirah some years ago with Mettler. I agree with McWine about the Foppiano. I think Vina Robles Syrée is a good example of what petite sirah can add in a blend, though it's mostly Syrah.

    May 02, 2013 at 3:18 PM

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 996

    I started drinking Petite Sirah in the late 60's and early 70's. The winery at that time was Parducci Winery. It was very good.

    May 02, 2013 at 3:23 PM

  • Snooth User: bopahyland
    222403 17

    I've been drinking Petite Sirah since the '70's, off and on. We have now rediscovered it and found Hand Craft 2010. It's less than $10.00. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do. It's now our house wine.

    May 02, 2013 at 5:36 PM

  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 5,565

    Zin1 -- Parducci is still putting out good Petite Sirahs and at very attractive prices. They have a "Small Lots" bottling that is darned good and, as I recall, comes in around $12.

    May 02, 2013 at 7:28 PM

  • Snooth User: StarkAdv
    1270649 46

    If you can find Switchback Ridge Petit Sirah...beg, borrow or steal for it.

    May 02, 2013 at 9:19 PM

  • Windsor Windsor Windsor! Excellent PS!

    May 04, 2013 at 9:57 PM

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