2016 Petite Sirah
Jeff’s Corner 5-10-18
“Good Evening” as Mr. Hitchcock used to say.
Today we will talk about the infamous “Son of Syrah”, one of the darkest, scariest, mysterious, and secretive entities ever to stalk the wine bars of Lyon. Known by many alias’ as his legend grew, his most common sobriquet in France is “Durif”, while in the United States he most often goes by “Petite Sirah”.
Spawned in the Rhone Valley of France in the commune of Tullins by Dr. Francios Durif in the 1860s, the bastard Petite was the result of some pollen from a Syrah vine having its way with the flowers of a Peloursin vine, a grape now close to extinction. Like its name, it’s a small grape and features thick, dark-skinned fruit.
Well, guess what, all this leads us to our newly released 2016 Petite Sirah, which is a wonderfully brooding example of everything a truly great Petite Sirah should be. The ABV is 13.4%, and it’s 100% Petite.
The color is an impenetrable dense purple with a dark, alluring edge. It begs lots of intrigue, and reminds me of this from Macbeth: “Stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires.”
The ‘16 is a powerhouse of aromas and flavors. Layers of blackberry, black plum, and cassis weave with vanilla, cinnamon, and cracked black pepper. Hints of dark chocolate, violets, and espresso add even more complexity.
This beauty is just as rich and complex on the palate. It’s an aggressive, young wine full of dark energy. It’s loaded with backbone and structure from well-integrated acid and tannin that compliment the fruit and spice for a long, seductive finish.
I think we should try this with a dark and earthy chicken mole; sided with some roasted corn and red pepper slaw. Oh, and maybe a rich blueberry flan for dessert.