2010 Reserve Petite Sirah, Dry Creek Valley
Petite Sirah is originally a French grape known as Durif, which is a cross between Syrah and Peloursin. However, Durif is pretty much non-existent in France today because the climate is not suited to such a late ripening variety. “Petite” refers to the small concentrated berries that produce an inky-dark wine. In California, early Petite Sirah plantings were mostly used as a blending partner. The warm climate and long, dry growing season allow us to achieve optimal ripeness and produce a soft, fruity wine with concentrated flavor and color.
It was an exceptionally cool and foggy 2010 summer in Sonoma County. And then we had a rather protracted “Indian Summer,” with a few unexpected heat spells, sending temperatures soaring into triple digits. The long cool growing season of 2010 allowed great acid retention in the fruit and extended time for flavor development without the higher sugar levels associated with warmer growing conditions. Many vineyards suffered a great deal of loss; grapes were sunburned, and even bunches covered by leaves withered. The Petite Sirah from our neighbors on Bradford Mountain withstood the heat well enough to provide us with rich, concentrated berries. As usual, this Petite Sirah is far from petite. The inky color will stain your glass (and your teeth) but it will be worth it; once you get one sip, you’ll go back for more. Rich and opulent, this Petite Sirah showcases aromas and flavors of plum and blackberry jam with hints of sweet tobacco and black licorice. It is rich and full-bodied, with chewy tannins, and finishes long. This wine is tasting perfect now and will continue to hold for the next year or two.