How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

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How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Jenise » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:28 pm

For our neighborhood tasting last night, we did Petite Sirah. It's the first time I've ever had an entire evening devoted to the grape, and I found the wines heavy, plodding and fatiguing. My two favorites were the '09 Foppiano that runs about $13, and a 2005 Charles Cimicky from Australia that was elegant with a neat nose that had a bit of allspice to it. We also served Marietta, Stags Leap and the only PS I know of in Washington State, Animale.

I've only got 5 or 6 PS's in my cellar and most were purchased so long ago I remember nothing about why I bought them, save the Sean Thackrey which I bought because I'll buy anything Sean makes. Last night's tasting made me understand why. It's not just that I rarely run into them to even pass on them, though that's generally true. It's that they're at the extreme edge of what is completely counter to the leaner European style wines I prefer. Those Petite Sirahs last night had me backed into a corner like a big man with bad breath and too many stories. I just wanted to get away. We came home in need of refreshment and drank a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Have a feeling I have company, as TN's on petite sirah are relatively few and far between here.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Joy Lindholm » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:47 pm

Flabby, clunky, jam-bombs not good for much save maybe turning into a reduction for a nice fruity red wine sauce....
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Carl Eppig » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:36 pm

We only pop two or three a year and they are always well aged. We give them a minimum of five years, for the Foppiano for example, and usually much more. Can't even imagine going through a tasting like you did. Was it a PS I Love You gathering?"
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Jenise » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:37 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:We only pop two or three a year and they are always well aged. We give them a minimum of five years, for the Foppiano for example, and usually much more. Can't even imagine going through a tasting like you did. Was it a PS I Love You gathering?"


That would have been very clever since the day before was Valentines, if I'd thought of it. But I didn't think of it. :)
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:40 pm

Wow, lots of stamina. Foppiano would be good, pity no David Bruce.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:08 pm

Jenise wrote:... had me backed into a corner like a big man with bad breath and too many stories. ...

TN of the month! :mrgreen:
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby David M. Bueker » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:26 pm

I like PS, but basically only from Ridge. I but them and lay them down. Some late '90s versions opened two years ago were good but still much too young. Most other PS hits me the wrong way.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Jenise » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:35 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Wow, lots of stamina. Foppiano would be good, pity no David Bruce.


I had the opp to buy David Bruce where I bought the Stags Leap. In addition to or instead of, but I just didn't know if it was one I should consider. You should have gone shopping with me!
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Tom V » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:03 pm

I agree that Petit Sirahs are best when properly aged. I brought 2 bottles of properly cellared 1998 Windsor Vineyards Petit Sirah from Mendocino to a barbeque last summer. For the most part the folks there were wine savey and this wine was a star of the afternoon. Don't recall specifics, but it was BIG and lush and deep and balanced and beautiful...and of course you can still buy PS without taking out a loan. I like PS :D
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Tom Troiano » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:04 pm

Its not something I buy.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Ryan M » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:40 pm

I love it in the right hands. And by the right hands, I mean Vincent Arroyo. Anybody who doubts the potential merits of PS must try Vincent Arroyo. The 2004 Rattlesnake Acres, their highest single vineyard bottling, is the greatest Californian wine I've had. Vincent Arroyo wines are also some the most amazing values out there.

Have a look at my notes in this thread from about a year ago:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=43136&p=352877&hilit=vincent+arroyo#p352877
Last edited by Ryan M on Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Dale Williams » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:08 pm

Ridge is pretty much it for me (though I have one bottle of Lava Cap, and have liked Foppiano).
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby John Treder » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:42 am

Young PS is like bad Zin. The difference is that with age, if the young PS is well made under all that meat and bone, it will come around.
Foppiano starts to hit its stride after 12-15 years. Trouble is, they went through a bad period of family squabbles about 5 -8 years ago, and only in the last couple of years have they started making the right kind of wine again.
David Cooper (Yoakim Bridge) makes PS on and off. He makes as light (if such a thing is imaginable) a brew as I've found, and it seems to be pretty drinkable after 5 years or so.
I fear that most of the PS I've had has been the buy a couple, try them, that's the end of it.
I do have a bottle of '92 Foppiano PS in the cellar, and it's getting to be the time to think about maybe OOTD doing something with it.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Jon Leifer » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:44 am

Bogle makes a nice PS at a nice price..Turley has made some outstanding PS in the past, especially from Hayne vyd...haven't tried any recently. Coffaro also makes a nice PS at a fair price
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Brian Gilp » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:23 am

I seek out Ridge and Le P’tit Paysan. Unfortunately the Le P’tit Paysan usually sells out every year so not sure if there is any left. Also have enjoyed Vincent Arroyo in the past and would happily drink them again but don't seek them out. I avoided Turley in the past but understand that they have dial things down some so would like to try one.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Sam Platt » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:29 am

I enjoy PS. I don't post much about PS wines here because it seems to be the subject of much scorn and derision among my fellow forumites.

My favorite PS is from Arroyo. It is nicely balanced and not overly jammy. I also enjoy Stags Leap PS. As David mentioned, Ridge makes a nice PS as well.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby James Roscoe » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:33 pm

Meh! 8)
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Florida Jim » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:30 pm

I own none.
I buy none.
After aging several for many years, I felt they never developed, just lasted.
Except Ridge.
Best, Jim
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Jenise » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:49 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I like PS, but basically only from Ridge. I but them and lay them down. Some late '90s versions opened two years ago were good but still much too young. Most other PS hits me the wrong way.


Know what you mean--I remember with awe the ungodly 91 Ridge York Creek we had a few years ago. A Ridge PS was for sale where I bought the Stags Leap, but they weren't York Creeks.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Jenise » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:51 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:I seek out Ridge and Le P’tit Paysan. Unfortunately the Le P’tit Paysan usually sells out every year so not sure if there is any left. Also have enjoyed Vincent Arroyo in the past and would happily drink them again but don't seek them out. I avoided Turley in the past but understand that they have dial things down some so would like to try one.


I've not even heard of these producers before, Le P'tit Paysan and Vincent Arroyo. Both California, I take it?
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Ryan M » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Jenise wrote:I've not even heard of these producers before, Le P'tit Paysan and Vincent Arroyo. Both California, I take it?


Vincent Arroyo is in Napa, and as far as I'm concerned, you have not truly experience Petite Sirah until you've had Vincent Arroyo. Please, seek one out - it will transform your understanding of the grape!

Also, have a look at my notes in the link I posted above, and in my my recent WTN post.
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Brian Gilp » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:21 pm

Jenise wrote:I've not even heard of these producers before, Le P'tit Paysan and Vincent Arroyo. Both California, I take it?

Ian Brand's wines from purchased grapes mostly from Monterey County. Generally good QPRs.
http://www.leptitpaysan.com/wines.html
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Well.....My Take...

Postby TomHill » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:20 pm

Florida Jim wrote:I own none.
I buy none.
After aging several for many years, I felt they never developed, just lasted.
Except Ridge.
Best, Jim


I'm not quite as negative as Jim on the Calif PS's.
The Ridge's certainly are about the best. The '71 YorkCreek PS I had at a Ridge retrospective about '96 was, perhaps, the most
monumental Calif red wine I've ever tasted. Ridge no longer gets FritzMaytag's PS and I don't think their LyttonEstate PS's are in the same
class as the YorkCreeks.
I've had a few others that I've thought evolved in quite a nice way. Some of the JacobFranklin's
(RayCoursen's Elyse wnry). The Jaffurs seem to be evolving quite niicely as well. First was '93 & can still go more yrs.
But, as Jim says, many just "last"...but never develop into anything interesting. When young, they can often have a lot of strong fruit and
be pretty tannic on the palate. Some of them do evolve into something pretty nice. Many do not. When young, some can be big & black & tannic,
but not a lot of fruit and rather clunky/coarse on the palate. Some of those evolve into something nice...many do not.
RobertBiale/Turley/JCCllrs are some of my favorites that just seem to "last". Another huge favorite is the Carlisles. I don't know if I've had
any old eough to say the "evolved" rather than just "lasted".
I regard PS and their aging sort of a crap shoot and not at all very good at predicting the ones who will last the test of time. You pay's your money
and youse take your chances. Fortunately, you don't have to pay too much money, in general.
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Re: How do you feel about Petite Sirah?

Postby Jenise » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:11 pm

Tom, besides the Thackrey mentioned, I have a 96 Teldeschi, 03 M2, 00 Behrens and Hitchcock single vineyard I can't remember the name of--Bandini?--and some more recent Scholium Projects called something-of-Babylon, or some such. You know their heady names.

Any thoughts on those? And whatever happened to Teldeschi, anyway? Not a winery name I see around any more.
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