Sources of Petite Sirah’s
In our Best-of-Appellation™ evaluation of Petite Sirahs from eighteen different AVA’s, it was quite evident that the variety is capable of great regional variability. In retrospect, the reasons seem obvious. Aromatics, color and tannin. All abound in the grape, and the development of each appears strongly influenced by place.
by Clark Smith
November 10, 2008
n wine competitions where the standard is to hand out five percent Gold Medals, judges commonly award 50 percent Gold to the Petite Sirahs. Why is it that this grape consistently passes muster? Petite Sirah seems regularly to surpass its supposedly more noble parent. Ever since I sat on a panel at the West Coast Wine Competition, which gave paltry scores to 70 Syrahs, and then immediately turned around and bestowed 8 Golds and 9 Double Golds on 42 Petite Sirahs, I have wondered just what made the difference. It occurred to me to pin it on scientific versus traditional winemaking - that Syrah was made by Davis grads and the less noble grape by the old farts.