As many readers know, Petite Sirah is one of my favorite wines. The panel loves it as well. So every March we try to do a mini-tasting to find some gems for our readers. Here are this year’s results.
I’m going to start with the clear winner from our most recent blind tasting for this grape category. The 2009 Tres Sabores Petite Sirah “Calistoga” for $45 Rocks! The panel scored it 92 points. On the palate, this wine is so inviting. It is full-bodied, very well balanced, and really smooth. The panel loved its flavor profile of very tasty mild black plum and gentle oak with hints of blueberry, chocolate, and coffee. It finishes very dry and its dusty moderate tannins drift away quite nicely. The panel suggested pairing this gorgeous Petite Sirah with a dry-aged rib-eye.
Our only 91 pointer is a hybrid. The 2009 Robert Foley “The Griffin” is made up of 50% Petite Sirah and the rest Cab and Merlot. However, it is a good value and will be enjoyed by all Petite Sirah lovers. It is full-bodied, very well balanced, and super smooth. The panel loved its delicious cherry vanilla flavors with notes of blueberry and plum with a touch of black licorice. Its finish is dry and its bold tannins are dusty and very sticky. This wine is always very consistent and for $35, it is a lot of wine for the money!
Four Vines has always crafted Very Good Petite Sirah. The 2009 Petite Sirah from Paso Robles was well received by the panel and scored 90 points from the panel. At $18 it is the best deal we found. It opens with a blueberry and mild oak bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full-bodied, slightly acidic, and juicy. The panel enjoyed its mild red raspberry and plum flavors with hints of cherry-cola, black pepper and oak. Unlike many Petite Sirahs this offering displays moderate tannins which are slightly prolonged and food-friendly. The panel suggested pairing this wine with barbecue steak tips or meatballs.
The next offering is a new one for us and for Ferrari Carano. Their 2009 Petite Sirah from the Dry Creek Valley is pretty impressive for a first time offering. It is 100% Petite Sirah, costs $34 and scored 90 points from the panel. We found it to be full-bodied, round and juicy. Its flavor profile is a black cherry and plum blend with hints of blueberry and black pepper. Like the Four Vines, it displays friendly moderate tannins that are nicely prolonged. The panel thought this one would be best with slow cooked barbecue beef brisket or veal marsala.
Other Petite Sirahs to consider:
1) Shannon Ridge 2009 Petite Sirah “Ranch Collection” (Lake County, CA) $24 (88 points)
2) Vina Robles 2008 Petite Sirah “Jardine Estate” (Paso Robles, CA) $26 (88 points)
As you can see, there are very few Petite Sirahs that qualify as Very Good or better. Those that do make the cut are extraordinary wines. We hope you enjoy the above gems as much as we did. Cheers and Enjoy! – Ken
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