Jeff’s Corner

Hola, Howdy, and Hello.

Two weeks ago, our new 2017 Petite Sirah snuck onto the tasting bar in a very quiet and seductive fashion. At the moment it’s not being featured in any of our pre-set tasting flights, so the only way to try it is to be savvy enough to ask for it. So, consider this a not-so-subtle hint to ask for it, you’ll be glad you did.

I’ve said this many times before, the notorious “Son of Syrah” is perhaps my favorite grape varietal. Petite Sirah is moody, mysterious, dark, brooding, melancholy, angst-ridden, morose, mercurial, and very romantic.  Petite is the tragic hero of the wine world, and would surely have been the preferred beverage of Hamlet, Lear, and Macbeth.

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, now that I’ve set the tone, let’s see what darkness the new 2017 Texas Petite Sirah has in store for us. The color is textbook Petite, a very dark purple/violet with a densely extracted, impenetrable hue in the center of the bowl. The tears are thick, well-spaced, and slow to slide down the glass. The blend is 83.16% Petite Sirah and 16.84% Syrah with a healthy 14.4% ABV.

Aromas are rich, dark, and complex with layers of ripe blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, and plum interlaced with a smoky earthiness highlighted by black licorice, dark chocolate, and black tea leaves.

This is a young, fleshy, and very muscular wine. It’s aggressive across our entire palate with tons of fruit up front made lively with a firm backbone of brisk acidity. Energetic tannins hold their own against the dense black fruit for a luxurious, lingering finish.

Let’s pair this full-bodied beauty with a grilled elk tenderloin with a port/blueberry reduction sauce sided with roasted root vegetables and a blueberry cheesecake for dessert.

Brace yourselves next week for three (yes, three) editions of Jeff’s Corner…