I may be going a bit out on a limb with this one, but I feel this varietal gets ignored by a lot of consumers, and it needs some recognition. Petite Sirah or Durif, if you want to get a bit geeky, really saw its day back when everyone seemed to have to drink Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah. Can you remember that? Today, other than Michael David’s Petite Petit, you know the one I’m talking about, Petite Sirah is what I would call in my department a slow mover. The problem with the circus label Petite Petit is that it has a fair amount of Petit Verdot in it (thus the name), which really makes it taste a bit different than an actual Petite Sirah.

Petite Sirah can be intense with solid acidity and somewhat chewy tannins. This, of course, is not for everyone’s palate. However, I stumbled upon one that I thought would come very close to the eighty percent mark, meaning at least eighty percent of the people who purchase the wine will like it. This wine could fall into the seventy-five percent category and I think I’m willing to take that chance. So, without further ado, here is my January pick.

2021 Oak Ridge Winery Petite Sirah (California)… $12.

Aromas of dark cherries and licorice with some blueberries and black raspberries thrown in. Cherries and blueberries all day on the palate that rest on meaty, almost chewy tannins (a little bit of food will calm them down). There is a big hit of licorice on the mid-palate, joined by notes of black raspberries. Chocolate notes ride underneath and become more pronounced as the wine airs out. Blueberry and raspberry notes linger on the long finish. I love this wine all by itself, but a hearty stew dish or a roast brings out the best in this Petite Sirah. The acidity is nicely integrated and gives the wine an intensity on the palate. If you have the patience, decant it for an hour or two before you drink it and you will be rewarded in spades. It’s a stupid price for the quality of the wine. It’s sixteen bucks on their website, but I got a really good deal on it. Even at the website price, it is a great value. Believe it or not, I think this will improve over the next five years. (B/B+)


Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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