Revisiting Petite Sirah

A roundup of 6 great table wines


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Revisiting Petite Sirah Humans are nothing if not predictable, and just to prove to you all that I am at least approaching human, I present you a little roundup of Petite Sirah. “Why?” you must be asking, “Does this have anything to do with GDP’s predictability?” Well, I just went into the article archives to revisit what I’ve written about Petite Sirah and lo and behold, the last time I wrote about Petite Sirah was the end of April 2009.

What is it about spring that gets me thinking about Petite Sirah? That’s a good question – with an easy answer: cool season grilling. Though with the several days of spring that increasingly has become our transition from winter to summer in these parts, that’s a bit of a misnomer.

Though the truth remains, Petite Sirah – big, dark, fruity, juicy, relatively modest alcohol California Petite Sirah – is one of the world’s great table wines and California’s real star, Cabernet, be damned.

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  • Snooth User: badbobby
    200769 15

    Happy to see your comments about Petite Sirah and the wine by Dashe at the top. Excellent winemakers. Your comment about Cabernets, is, I think appropriate. Too many of them are merely "fighting varietals". Without being offensive, many offer little dimension or nuance, especially compared to other wines at similar price points. Petite Sirah is an excellent table wine and one that deserves more exposure.

    May 18, 2011 at 1:14 PM

  • Snooth User: Ron Fannin
    553786 45

    For what I presume to be a national audience, why would you include as your top two wines ones which are either not available at all or available only at the winery at a price significantly higher than that of any of the other included wines? Maybe I'd have a different viewpoint if I lived within striking distance of California wine country.

    May 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

  • Having stumbled (almost literally) upon a 2004 Stags Leap Petite Sirah, when a waiter suggested its pairing with fish (I was skeptical but fortunately trusted him) while visiting in San Francisco 5 years ago, we instantly became P.S. fans.. so yes, I agree with your endorsement of this wonderfully full and soft wine.

    May 18, 2011 at 2:57 PM

  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 156

    I have just bought two cases of Rosenblum Heritage PS at $9 a bottle each -- special sale at half off CA MSRP .... very nice table wine, but some PS in CA are higher in alcohol, huge wines, and need a lot of bottle aging - thinking Seghesio and Opolo amongst others -- but the less expensive ones can be very nice, or somewhat harsh and chewy.

    May 18, 2011 at 3:20 PM

  • Snooth User: WineIsYummy
    Hand of Snooth
    615722 242

    The DB Petite Sirah is on my favorite wines because of its drinkability and the value per bottle. To find such a quality wine for under $10 is exciting-- and this wine is available all across the US. I suggest giving it a try!

    May 18, 2011 at 3:33 PM

  • Snooth User: winesquid
    246418 2

    I'm also a big Petite Sirah fan and am always on the lookout to find a reasonably priced bottling. Lately, I enjoy the Shannon Ridge Lake County 2008 ($10-$12 at World Market), although it was too tart for me on day 1 but became much less tart and much more appealing on day 2 when it lost its excessive tartness and filled out nicely. Another reasonably priced one is the McManis California 2007 ($10) which was similar to Bogle's Petite Sirah (which I consider a good value but rather simple) but more concentrated and fuller in body. Another I enjoyed was Michael-David's Petite Petit 2006 ($15+) that I tried twice and was better the second time with more months of aging. However, I don't care for the standard Concannon 2005 and 2006 ($10ish) which is much too tart (think tart cherries) for my tastes. I prefer the darker, less tart blackberry/boysenberry fruit profile.

    May 18, 2011 at 6:31 PM

  • Snooth User: bcives
    842105 1

    I like alcohol as much as anybody. But why do you say that these are "relatively modest" in alcohol? 4 out of 5 of them are over the top, at 14.5% and higher. Modest would be up to say 13.5%. These are high alcohol wines.

    May 18, 2011 at 8:33 PM

  • Snooth User: corkscrews
    596150 21

    Love PS, one of the best QPR wines from last year was the 2008 Keesha PS, at $10 it was a steal! Robert Baile, Carlisle, Michael-David and Girard also make outstanding PS's.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:35 PM

  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 1,085

    My first introduction to petite sirah was in the mid 70's. I believe it was from Parducci Winery.
    At that time there wasn't much to choose from here in New England. I was enjoying Cabernets and big Zins, but I enjoyed Petite Sirah and preferred it over the rest. My friends thought it strange and even went as far as to say that I was out of touch with reality.

    May 20, 2011 at 8:17 AM

  • Snooth User: Foppiano
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    795701 9

    Thanks for including Foppiano's Petite Sirah in the mix! The pictured label is a bit outdated but anyone who wants to see the label as it appears on the shelves, visit our website at Our Petite is available nationwide.

    May 20, 2011 at 6:29 PM

  • Thanks for the Petite Sirah spotlight. Been drinking PS since the early '70s, especially my favorite Topolos ar Russian River. Some RR PS keep upwards of 20 years if unfiltered and unfined!! Delicious!! And, yes, Parducci from Mendocino as well as Concannon in Lodi are still producing wonderful PS.

    Jun 12, 2011 at 12:50 PM

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