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Jan 20, 2019

Petite Sirah, a red grape that’s a cross of the Rhône varieties Peloursin and Syrah is a plummy, powerful, and tannic grape that provides the vital support function of a blending grape in many wines, especially Zinfandel. This week we discuss the grape as an important blender and what it does as a standalone variety (spoiler alert: it’s not always great!).


Here are the show notes:

  • We give an overview of the grape, discussing the dark color, strong acidity and tannin, full bodied nature of the grape and how it makes savory, meaty character, dense blackberry flavored, sometimes chocolaty wines
  • We talk about the origin story and get dorky about clones v. hybrids (and M.C. Ice throws in mutants for good measure)
  • Then we discuss why Petite Sirah is really not grown in France and why it’s so important in California, its adopted homeland
    • We hit on top spots for varietal Petite Sirah – parts of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, especially
  • We briefly cover where else Petite Sirah is grown (the US and its PS… I love you campaign, Australia, Israel, mainly) and the top producers: Turley, Ridge, Robert Foley, Quixote, Robert Biale, Alta Colina, Peterson, Crux
  • Finally, we get the inside farmer perspective from Oded Shakked of Longboard Vineyards. I asked Oded for his ideas on Petite Sirah, which are traditional and helpful, and M.C. Ice and I discuss the highlights of my conversation with Oded and why most winemakers like the grape better as a a back-up singer, rather than lead vocals!

Feel free to chime in and give us a black eye if you love P.S. -- we can take it! 


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