Wine Blogging Wednesday: Petite Sirah
Overall, some of us doubted that Petite Sirah could stand on its own. The core flavors were marzipan/licorice, some metallic iron, and a general wildness and disparity of elements—those who liked it call it "savage and brambly", those who didn’t simply called it uneven and inconsistent. Our general opinion by the end: while the varietal has some potential, it clearly doesn’t stand on its own as a classic.
Now the reviews!
Tier 1: Our two favorites were quite clear:
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards Durif, McDowell Vineyards, 2004Read Reviews, Buy
Avg points 87.4
We felt like this one was the truest expression of the varietal.
Nose: rust, iron, marzipan, soy sauce, smoke
Mouth: Tart, licorice, smoke, heavy bodied, salted plums
Finish: Evolves from licorice to tar
Storrs Petite Sirah, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2004Read Reviews, Buy
Avg points 85
Nose: mineral and blood
Mouth: blackberry and brambly fruits, savage and wild with lots of spice
Finish: a bit hot and burning, with notes of unripened berries
Tier 2: The middle-of-the-road wines:
Huntington Petite Sirah, 2005Read Reviews, Buy
Avg points 84
Note: for 2 of us, this was in the top two!
Concannon Petite Sirah, Central Coast, 2004Read Reviews, Buy
Avg points 83.75
A nice California-style wine, that still had some of the marzipan and licorice that we decided was the Petite Sirah core. A decent everyday wine but with little character.
Bogle Petite Sirah, 2005Read Reviews, Buy
Avg points: 83.75
An easy to drink, fruit forward, with a hint of peppercorn, and generally more consistent wine that most of us agreed stood out: it had a very different, smoother, character than the other wines we tasted.
Amphora Petite Sirah, Dry Creek Valley, Mounts Vineyard, 2004Read Reviews, Buy
Avg points 83
We decanted this for a while, since it was so tight and tannic when we first tasted it. But after two hours, it hadn’t opened up much. It was a very meaty red, inky, blueberry jam and dried overripe blueberries, with a very tight, astringent finish.
Fearless Petite Sirah, Central Coast, 2005Buy
Avg points 80.66
To some of us, this smelled like a Pinot: vanilla and strawberry, sour cherries, tobacco, leather with notes of herbs de provence.
Stonehedge Reserve Petite Syrah, 2005Read Reviews, Buy
Avg points 79.5
Some of us (notably the person who bought this bottle) tried hard to like this wine—and even they failed! Avoid the 05, we have some positive feedback from the 03 though.
Oak Grove Reserve Petite Sirah, 2005Buy
This turned out surprisingly Italian-style. Violet, camphor, salty caramel, with smooth mint and a tart finish. No average points … we were apparently getting tipsy!
Inheritance Petite Sirah, 2005Buy
The dominant note was ether: sweet medicinal. The mouthfeel, though, was watery, and the finish short. What did I say about tipsy?
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