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Sep 14, 2007 07:50 AM

Petite Sirah

I never like to make blanket statements, but I have never really found much of a use for this grape. Every time I have been to a tasting room and had this, it has burned my mouth with its fierce tannins, and generally made my throat feel like it was full of chalk. Even when I've had bottles that had some the tannin tamed down, I found them pretty unimpressive.

So, if there are fans of this grape on here, is there something I am missing? What producers make a good one?

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  1. turley on the high end, rosenblum on the affordable end. the heritage clones from rosenblum comes in easily under $20. if you don't like it, it's ok. you don't have to like every grape. cheers!

    1. My favourite varietal currently! David Bruce-excellent, Bogle-very good. The grape is known as Durif in Australia and I highly recommend Nugan Estates. California and Australia seem to be the two areas where these are coming from and both are completely different, Californians being smoother and Australians being much bolder....

      1. i've liked fulton's petite sirah

        1. Foppiano ( is another winery with a long history of producing estate-bottled petite sirah.

          Also, check out

          Petite sirah is a grape with a lot of guts. It is often used to add some heft & body to other California red wines.

          1. It's okay, most people have a love-hate relationship with petite sirah. It's not for everyone. I'm one of those that love it. When I think of petite sirah, the first word that comes to mind is brooding. Whatever it may lack in finesse and subtlety, it definitely makes up for in brawn and intensity.

            Yet it should be balanced. I do think that a lot of these wines currently available are much too alchoholic. My favorite, the Stags Leap comes in usually at right under 15%, and I usually prefer wines that are not any higher than 14.5%. I just checked the petites on my racks for ABV. The David Bruce is at 13.9%. The 2005 Rosenblum Heritage Clones from SF Bay is at 14%. OTOH, this is somewhat made up for by the fact that Stags generally hold their vintages longer before releasing so the wine has a chance to calm down a little. Nevertheless, a decanter or 30 minutes in the glass is a good idea.

            Funny, I just posted something about using petite sirah as a pseudo-dessert wine. I see that you're in NY as well. The dessert place Chikalicious in the EV serves a Vinum Petite Sirah "Pets" from Clarksburg as one of their dessert wine options. I'm not a fan of this particular winery, but I see how it could work as an alternative to other dessert wines.

            The three that I've mentioned should be readily available in NYC. I agree that both Rosenblum and David Bruce are very good. You should also be able to find Concannon for less than $15. On the high end, Switchback Ridge supposedly makes an excellent petite, though I have no personal experience.