Petite Sirah And Patience

Stephen Bainbridge has an interesting post on Petite Sirah, one of my favorite grapes. I like the blackberry and boysenberry that he notes in the young PS, and I certainly like the chocolate and spices in the mature PS. It’s a yummy and versatile grape, especially if you cook on the grill a lot.

He mentions that he has Ridge PS from the mid-90s that isn’t even close to drinking. We are going to have to be even more patient; our cellar has a few 1998, 1999, and 2000 Petite Sirahs from Preston Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County. We have opened a couple of them, and they were good after decanting, but still had tons more potential.

For an instant gratification, cheap-and-cheerful Petite Sirah to go with the grilled lamb chops without having to wait 15 years, try the PS from Bogle Vineyards. It retails around $10, is a gorgeous deep purple, has those blackberry and boysenberry and spice notes, and is an accessible way to get acquainted with this fantastic grape and decide if you want to invest in the Ridges and Prestons of the world.

One thought on “Petite Sirah And Patience

  1. Lynne– I read the Professor regularly but was not able to comment on his Petite Sirah notes because, unlike your more enlightened site, he does not regularly use a comment section.
    As you both note Petite Sirah has high levels of tannin. When vinified in the manner of a Bogle, the tannins just get overwhelmed by the amount of fruit and a pretty drinkable wine results. Although the tannins are still there and can provide a “green”, astringent finish.
    But what I really wanted to say is this: when dealing with wines of high tannic content, it is a mistake to assume that at some point with the passage of time the tannins will recede and a fabulous wine will emerge. Someone has said that cellaring sets up a race between the tannins and the fruit: you just hope that the fruit wins and is still there when the tannins diminish enough to taste them.
    There have been many disppointed oenophiles who have pulled a cork on a big Cab that has sat in the cellar for 15 years, only to find that there’s not much of anything left to the wine, even though the tannins have receded. I know, because I’ve pulled several of those corks myself.
    Lesson is: when in doubt, drink up!!!

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