Jeff’s Corner 2-4-22

Hey, Hey, Hey,
Today is
Petite Sirah Day!

Last October, our Black Label Wine Club members got a sneak preview of our awesome new 2019 GCV Petite Sirah in their Wine Club allocation, but it hasn’t been available for purchase (or on the tasting bars) until last week. So, I thought today would be the perfect time to take a closer look at this intriguing grape and blockbuster wine.

Before we do, however, I want to take a short journey down memory lane and share how I discovered what may be my favorite red grape. Way back in 1979 Kathy and I fell in love over a bottle of wine (Mouton Cadet) and my famous barbecued chicken.

In the early 1980’s we had (and still do) a lot of fun and romance exploring wines we were unfamiliar with. There was a small wine shop in Corpus Christi and an older man became a mentor and introduced us to Zinfandel. We fell in love again over that grape, and one day he pulled a bottle of Parducci Wine Cellars Petite Sirah off the shelf and said “Give this a try.”

Wowser! This one man introduced us to our two favorite varietals, and was always gracious enough to be mindful of how little money we had. Thank you, kind sir…

Petite Sirah is a relatively young grape variety, having been created around 1860 (I’ve seen many different dates) by Francois Durif close to Montpellier in southeastern France near the southern part of the Rhone Valley. Durif was having fungal/mold issues with his Syrah and crossed it with Peloursin (a grape now thought to be extinct).

The grape is small (hence the name), thick skinned, and very dark in hue. Because of these qualities, it produces a wine of intense color full of heart-healthy antioxidants. Durif named it after himself, but it was taken to California by Charles Mclver around 1880 and renamed Petite Sirah. It is no longer grown in France, and the U.S. accounts for over 75% of the world’s plantings.

In the 1980’s a group of growers and producers organized the P. S. I Love You Foundation ( to promote consumer awareness and help market this wonderful wine. Check it out, it’s packed with lots of cool info.

Rich, dark, brooding, and mysterious, our much-anticipated 2019 Texas Petite Sirah is an impermeable purple/garnet with a hint of dark ruby in the rim. Aggressive and complex aromas of fresh-cracked black pepper, espresso, leather, black tea, anise, and black licorice weave an intricate tapestry that continues to evolve in the glass.

Young and powerful, the palate delivers what the nose promises. Full-bodied with a richly textured mouthfeel, muscular tannins are well-integrated with brisk acidity promising long, graceful aging. If possible, decant for at least an hour and serve around 60*. The ABV is an approachable 12.9%.

It has been really cold, and I’m thinking this beauty would pair very well with a savory, well-seasoned Carne Guisada with fresh hot tortillas, Mexican rice, and a guacamole salad.

Cheers, and we’ll see you soon…