HOME > Chowhound > Wine >

Discussion

Your Favorite Petite Sirah

Although I have not had very many I am finding PS to be one of favorite varietals.
So far this what I have had:

Bogle - OK for $13

Vina Robles - Tasted at winery. Good but didn't think it was worth the price.

J Lohr Tower Road 2006 - Tasted and bought a bottle at winery was expensive I think around $40

Derby Estate 2006 - Just picked up a bottle at local wine shop for $10, might try it tonight.

Please post what your favorites are.

( I am also liking 100% grenache a lot but let's save that for another time)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Sean Thackrey's.

    As for the Grenache, I lean towards Spain's Priorat and Montsant.

    1. Bogle PS is widely available for $10 or so in the San Francisco area and is a good value at that price.
      Concannon makes a good PS that should sell around $12 to $14.
      Foppiano in Sonoma County specializes in PS and theirs sells in the $15-$20 range.

      1. Storrs Winery, Santa Cruz Mtns. AVA*
        Ridge Vineyards, California (Sonoma)
        T-Vine, Napa Valley AVA

        On the less expensive side, I'd second the suggestions of Bogle, Concannon and Foppiano.

        Cheers,
        Jason

        * The 1994 vintage won "Best of Show" at the California State Fair -- the first Petite Sirah to ever do so.

        4 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Concur on Bogle, Concannon and Foppiano. Turley on the higher end is also great. A bit off the radar but I've loved Field Stone's PS many times, too.

          1. re: zin1953

            Is T-Vine still as good after Greg sold it?

            1. re: M_and_H

              Greg sold it in 2009; current vintage of PS is 2008, ***and*** the winemaker remains the same.

              From their website:

              >>> In 2009, a partnership by three friends and fellow vintners – Jim Regusci, Chuck Easley and James Harder – was formed to acquire T-Vine Cellars with the goal of carrying on the T-Vine traditions and enhancing and adding a few interesting grape/vineyard sources for the winemaking team. The T-Vine winemaker / head cellar master for over 10 years, Fernando Candelario remains at the helm and continues to craft the wines and oversee all aspects of winemaking. <<<

              1. re: zin1953

                I've really loved their wine since the early days. This sounds like it's definitely worth it to continue purchasing their wines.

          2. Stags' Leap Winery makes a very good Napa Valley PS that is on the pricier side.

            1. The Bogle seems to be a very solid choice at a low price point. One that I've loved recently - especially as I can really only stand Petite Sirah's that are a bit softer in style - is Sheldon's 2006 PS. I picked some up on my last trip to California. They don't make much wine, period (it's a garage-style operation in Santa Rosa) but there is still some available direct: http://www.shop.sheldonwines.com/

              1. Big House The Prodigal Son Petite Sirah, About $10

                1. Vinum Cellars (Clarksburg) makes a good value PS that is in the same price range as Bogle and Concannon. However it is not easy to find. The list price is $12.

                  www.vinumcellars.com

                  1. Just noticed today that my Trader Joe's in San Francisco is selling the Concannon PS for $6.99, $2 less than the Bogle PS.

                    1. 2004 Robert Biale Petite Sirah Royal Punishers - USA, California, Napa Valley (11/5/2011)
                      Really nice wine and finished in third place tonight. Blueberries, spice, blackberries, coffee and earth. The palate shows concentration and the tannins have mellowed out. Medium finish and a really balanced wine. Well done! (93 points)

                      Just had it tonight!

                      1. I recently drank this - 2006 JC Cellars Petite Sirah Eaglepoint Ranch - it was pretty delicious.

                        1. Check out Vincent Arroyo's vineyard-designated Petite Sirahs.

                          1. David Bruce
                            Ridge
                            La Jota

                            I find Bogle to be fairly crude, but it is popular so it must be good.-)

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Sailing77

                              You say "crude," I would say "simple, but well made," in contrast to the complexity one finds in Ridge or La Jota.

                              1. re: zin1953

                                Zin1953:

                                From the bottles I have tasted, I would not consider Bogle "well made". You could have had very different experiences though. If Lou Kessler, SF Joe, or Hoke came to your house for dinner would you serve them Bogle?

                                1. re: Sailing77

                                  You and I have different definitions of well made.

                                  Within the wine trade, a "well-made wine" is typically defines as one that is technically sound, without flaws, and (in the case of a varietal, versus a semi-generic) wine, is true-to-type.

                                  That description fits Bogle's Petite Sirah. But being "well-made" does *not*, by definition, mean that everyone will love it. Indeed, Gallo's Hearty Burgundy -- which happens to be better than most people give it credit for -- is a very well-made wine.

                                  As for serving it to friends, I would and I have -- depending upon a) what sort of food is being served, and b) how "into" wine the friends are. I might not serve it to someone who is "seriously into" wine, whatever that really means, but I would certainly serve it at a neighborhood backyard barbecue, or for friends for whom wine is something they drink but don't care about very much. (Generally, wine not only has to match food, but also friends.)

                                  1. re: zin1953

                                    So you would serve Bogle to that specific group of "friends"?

                                    1. re: Sailing77

                                      I have recommended Bogle Petite Sirah to people for years, and sold who knows how many cases of the stuff! I don't know why that is difficult to believe.

                                      And I *have* recommended it, IIRC, to my mother-in-law to serve to her friends.

                                      There are inherent problems when you are serving wine to two different and divergent groups of people. Do you serve a 1982 Ch. Pichon Lalande to everyone, even those who don't know anything about wine and are just as likely to want ice in it? Or do you serve sweet White Zinfandel to everyone, even those who are seriously "into" wine, but have found every White Zin they've ever tasted to be insipid? Do you serve two different wines, and have them answer a series o wine trivia questions to see if they "qualify" (deserve?) to drink "the good stuff"?

                                      Or do you find a decent, well-made wine that may not blow the socks off of anyone, but some people will really enjoy and others can drink it without turning their nose up at it, without gagging, and *with* some enjoyment?

                                      Generally I opt for the lattermost option given that type of situation. But, in my case, it's more likely to be an inexpensive Côtes-du-Rhône, or Languedoc, or perhaps something from Spain or Portugal, than a similar wine from California. But that's me, and YMMV . . .

                                      Cheers,
                                      Jason

                                      1. re: zin1953

                                        The Bogle PS is perhaps the best everyday wine that I have come across. I have drank it alone while watching television. I have served it with a nice ribeye steak.

                                        Are there better examples of PS out there? Sure there are and a good number of them have been mentioned on this thread. But for my money there are not many wines, of any variety, that can beat it at that price.

                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                          Vigilance PS compares well with Bogle at about the same price.

                            2. Last summer on vacation, we hit the wine store daily. The Bogle PS was the only red in this price range that was bought several times. It was a hit with all the red drinkers.

                              1. Robert Biale's Punishers Petite Sirah.

                                Hunt

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                  Bill see my review with score above!

                                  1. re: wineglas1

                                    Thanks! I had missed that. That is the trouble with re-visiting a thread, and not Expanding All, and reading.

                                    Glad that you liked it too!

                                    Since I am in the Black Chicken Society, so I'd have to see what they charged me for my case.

                                    Here, in AZ, we only see a few of Robert Biale's Zins, and those are few, and far between. Glad that I am a "member." Great wines, and if you have never met Mr. Biale, you need to. He is wonderfully passionate, and what a winemaker *should* be. He is a DELIGHT to talk with.

                                    Thanks,

                                    Hunt

                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                      Bill

                                      I need to grab the Chicken Ranch Zin which is about $34 at a local wine shop. Seems like a good price and they are always advertising it.

                                      Cheers,

                                      John

                                      1. re: wineglas1

                                        "Chicken Ranch," or "Black Chicken?" I have not heard of the former, but love the latter. In many years, I will take my allocation, and then pull a few strings to get some more. Love that Zin.

                                        Let me know more, please,

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                          A lot of people know the story but it's still good to retell about Black chicken: Biale's father (grandfather?) maintained livestock along with grapes and kept making wine during the Depression and when someone asked for a bottle of zin, the code was "black chicken."

                                          1. re: penthouse pup

                                            It is a great Prohibition story. I love that Biale named the (legit) wine Black Chicken.

                                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                                            Black Chicken. What is the cost out of the winery?

                                  2. Armen - 2007- Dry Creek Valley, CA

                                    1. Pardon me if I'm a little out of date, but I was never fond of the examples I tried in the 80s and 90s. A bit coarse IMO.

                                      Shouldn't this grape be reserved for blending?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: collioure1

                                        >>> Shouldn't this grape be reserved for blending? <<<

                                        No.

                                        Since I know how you feel about Carignan, let me use that grape to explain Petite Sirah (aka Durif). Young vine Petite Sirah *is* indeed often coarse and rough, black pepper and tannin. But this is NOT how the original Petites produced in California tasted.

                                        The first varietal Petite Sirah was made in 1965 by Concannon Vineyards. It was medium-bodied, supple, spicy, with soft tannins in the finish. When Ridge and Freemark Abbey hit the shelves with their Petite Sirahs in 1968, they WERE "a bit coarse." They also unlike anything else produced in California at the time -- big, full, intense, spicy, astringent, and delicious ***in their unique style*** (versus what else was available at the time).

                                        This dichotomy in style -- elegant and supple; big and intense -- continues to this date. Admittedly most Americans associate Petite Sirah with this latter style, which has become the dominant (and some consider "textbook") style of Petite. But several producers still produce Petite in the original style, and have garnered any number of accolades for the more elegant style -- including high point scores from notable critics and "Best of Show" at the California State Fair.

                                        But, as always, it's all a matter of taste. I love the more elegant style of Petite, and I'm not a big fan for the more bold, coarse style. But I am virtually alone among my wine friends in my preference.

                                        Cheers,
                                        Jason

                                        1. re: zin1953

                                          Thanks, now I know. I thought my views might be passé since Petite Sirah is still around while other varieties are advancing by leaps and bounds out there.

                                      2. Recently had a most wonderful Petite Syrah-- Kenneth Volk, French Camp 2008-- which piqued my interest in the grape. I'm always looking for wines that drink well now yet have at least a glimpse of subtlety and finesse. Thanks, Jason, for explaining why some PS's are too big to drink without age, and then others like the Volk are just right.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: pickypicky

                                          Try looking for Storrs Winery Petite Sirah from the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA . . .

                                          /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

                                          In the interests of full disclosure, I worked for Storrs in the 1990s, and the owners are friends of mine. That said, I no longer have any connection to the winery except as a consumer.