If you like Zinfandel, try Petite Sirah.
Petite Sirah (or Durif, the grape’s original name) was created by botanist Francois Durif in Montpellier, France around 1880. It is a cross between Syrah and the even more rare grape variety - Peloursin.
While its origins are in France, today it is considered an American Heritage Grape. It earned its name from size of its berries. It is anything but a “small wine”. In fact, it can be one of the biggest, most powerful and tannic wines produced in America. It’s loved for its extraordinary deep color and full-bodied flavors of blueberry, blackberries, spice chocolate, plums and black pepper. Do not confuse this grape with wine produced from the similarly named Syrah variety. If the name seems familiar to you, that may because it’s frequently added to Zinfandel to improve its color, add tannins for better structure.
Here are five Lodi Petite Sirah to try:
2016 Ironstone Petite Sirah ($14)
An inky purple color with a rich, bold warm berry pie, blueberry, vanilla, dark chocolate and light peppery spice character, and a deliciously smooth finish
2016 Maggio Petite Sirah ($11)
An opaque purple color with a plum, baked blackberry, fig, cocoa and licorice character and a lingering finish.
Mettler Family Vineyards 2015 Petite Sirah ($25)
The wine is a deep opaque purple color with sweet blueberry, black raspberry, mocha and spice character with an appealing lush texture, well-integrated tannins and a very satisfying finish.
2014 Michael David Earthquake Petite Sirah ($26)
An opaque purple color this has a dark, brooding, blackberry liqueur, blueberry, black licorice character that deliver untold hedonistic pleasure!
2015 Michael David Petite Petit ($18)
This wine is a blend of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot. It’s a dense, inky wine with a rich, full-bodied and daring baked blueberry, black pepper, pastry dough and vanilla character with a lush mouth-feel that is sure to delight. Petite Sirah’s full-bodied character make it a great match for substantial fares such as roasted, grilled and braised meats, short ribs, hamburgers and all type of barbeque.