This wine is just the perfect match for the season. It is cold and dreary outside (in most of the world) which is why so many people reach for a heavy red. Petite Sirah is actually quite different from Syrah (known as Syrah in the Northern Hemisphere and Shiraz in the Southern Hemishere). DNA fingerprinting has shown that the majority of Petite Sirah plantings in California are actually a varietal called Durif. Some California vineyards were found to be a field blend of Durif and other varieties, such as Mondeuse noire, all labeled as Petite Sirah.
Previously only used as a blending grape essentially from the 70s until the 90s, now Petite Sirah is the star varietal for Stag’s Leap. In fact, Stag’s Leap winery probably produces the most famous Petite Sirah in the world. Stag’s Leap. Head winemaker, Christophe Paubert, has spanned the industry from sales to winemaking, and his impressive background includes positions at Chateau d'Yquem and Chateau Gruaud-Larose as well as projects in Chile, Spain and Washington State. His Petite Sirah is inky and intense but also showcases the Napa terroir. He did an excellent job in the challenging 2011 vintage. Find this wine at fine dining restaurants, online wine shops and Northwest wine shops for about 40 bucks. Here is my pick for the week.
2011 Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah- Intensely dark wine. Blue fruit and black fruit on the nose. Palate has nice minerality with blueberry and boysenberry fruit with graphite. Excellent, drink now after an hour of decanting. -92