This is part 2 of a 2 part series. Here’s Part 1: a-few-petite-sirahs-from-the-ps-i-love-you-symposium-tasting
It is unfortunate but true that people are typically unfamiliar with the marvels of Petite Sirah. Hence the need for a Petite Sirah advocacy group like PS I Love You and for events like Dark & Delicious.
I’m fortunate that I was turned on to Petite Sirah back in my days working at Ridge and that I put a bottle of Storrs PS away in the cellar and forgot about it for 10 years which allowed me to taste the beauty that PS can become.
I’m also grateful that I’ve been able to whet my palate and taste a lot of PS wine in the past six months, thanks to invitations from Jo Diaz to attend Dark and Delicious as well as the PS Symposium.
I hope that these notes will encourage YOU to go out and try out a Petite Sirah or two for yourself! And while you’re at it, pick up a bottle or two to lay down in the cellar for 10 years or so!
- Diamond Ridge Vineyards ~ Lake County
Winemaker Clark Smith aka Grape Crafter (pictured) gave one of the PS Symposium’s enology presentations where he discussed the impact of various barrels–French, Hungarian, American, and neutral– on the same Petite Sirah and at the tasting, he provided us with samples of the various wines he made. Personally, I really liked the one in the Hungarian Oak–this was a no fooling around, leather and chains with some blueberry pie thrown in version of PS. He also did a French oak that tasted familiar, and American oak which was a bit on the sweet side with a lot of vanilla and not as much fruit. Lake County is above the fog line but cooling lake breezes keep the grapes from cooking.
- Don Sebastiani & Sons ~ Sonoma
This Petite Sirah was the standout wine for me in a twitter tasting of The Crusher recent releases. In one of the tweets, I said it was “like the vampire that takes you in the night!” The California State Fair Wine Competition gave it a double gold/Best of Class award.
- Eagle Ridge Vineyard ~ Livermore
- Edwards Vineyard & Cellars ~ Ramona Valley
While most of the wines were from Sonoma, Napa and Livermore, Beth and Victor Edwards drove up in their white pick up truck (pictured above) from way down south almost to San Diego from the Ramona Valley AVA. In 1990, they were making wine in their garage and now they’re making 500 cases in their winery and 42 cases are PS. Their grapes are farmed sustainably on native roots and the wines are unfined/unfiltered. I enjoyed the black fruit and herbs.
- Foppiano Vineyards ~ Russian River Valley
- Girard Winery ~ Napa
Some of the PS vines in this wine are 100+ years old! It’s a blend of mostly PS with 8% zin, 2% mourvedre and 1% grenache. It hit me in the head with a cherry pie.
- Guglielmo Winery ~ Santa Clara Valley
This PS comes from estate vines as old as I am! What an amazing blessing that so many of these PS plantings are still around! I got black pepper, plum and rose.
- Gustafson Family Vineyards ~ Dry Creek Valley
- Heringer Estates ~ Clarksburg
- Jazz Cellars ~ Bay Area
- Justice Grace ~ San Francisco
- Langtry Estate ~ Lake County
Molasses, muskiness, and blueberry.
- Las Positas Vineyard ~ Livermore
Very sweet and clean, clear fruit.
- McCay Cellars ~ Lodi
McKay produces mostly zin plus about 200 cases of PS from their vineyards in the northeast corner of the Lodi AVA which he has been farming for over 15 years allowing him to understand the nuances of the land and how this vine grows there. I tasted the o8 and found it well balanced with soft tannins and lots of fruit. He was apologetic about the 07 which has a hint of brett but I still liked it a lot and didn’t find the brett off-putting. He decided not to release it but if you like some brett horse leather with your fruit track down McKay Cellars in Lodi!
- McGrail Vineyards & Winery ~ Livermore
- Miro Cellars ~ Alexander Valley
- Mounts Family Winery ~ Dry Creek Valley
- Nottingham Cellars ~ Livermore
- Occasio Winery ~ Livermore
- Page Mill Winery ~ Livermore
- Parducci Wine Cellars ~ Mendocino
Parducci brought two PS–an 07 estate which has a lot of anise, mint, wet earth, blueberry and cherry to it and 07 “True Grit” which was named by Jo Diaz who told them their PS was the John Wayne of wine and was very intense, powerful and peppery! They’re rightly proud for their efforts to be “green” and sustainable and tell that story with facts on their back labels; they’re the first carbon neutral winery in the US.
- Pedroncelli Winery ~Dry Creek Valley
I tasted the 08 Pedroncelli and found the tannins were soft, and in fact I noted that the wine was “pretty” in the glass, on the nose and in the palate.
- Ridge Vineyards ~ Dry Creek Valley
I worked at Ridge on Montebello Road in 1984 and 1985, so naturally, I first stained my teeth with their PS. I appreciate that they continue to use as little intervention as possible, and use a minimum amount of sulfur and native yeasts. In the glass, the wine had a nice nose and was very pleasant and easy to enjoy.
- Rock Wall Wine Company ~ Alameda
At lunch I sat with Rock Wall winemaker Shauna Rosenblum (and yes I will be blogging about her soon! What a great story!) and tasted her Rock Wall 2009 Gamble Ranch that afternoon. This wine retails at $30 and is very rich and creamy in a cream soda or root beer float kind of way, very spicy, maple syrup, and chocolate malt.
- Ruby Hill Winery ~ Livermore
- Somerston Wine Company~Napa
- Spangler Vineyards ~ Roseburg, Oregon
I had two people tell me while I was in the Willamette AVA in Oregon that I needed to taste these wines, if not at the tasting room in Newburg, then on my way south in Roseburg. Unfortunately, my schedule didn’t allow those stop. Imagine my joy to find that the wines came to me! not only did I get to taste his delightful PS, but he opened his grenache and his malbec at the impromtu tailgate party we held in the parking lot! That’s his wine pictured next to Clark Smith. While I love grenache (and his is especially wonderful, very round and joyous and dusty rose bushy and I drank it with a chicken dinner that night), his malbec blew me away. If you like your wines rich and intense, this is a winery to discover. I will be making sure I visit next time to see what else he has up his sleeve!
- Thomas Coyne Winery ~ Livermore
I sat next to Thomas Coyne at lunch and so my first stop at the tasting was his wine! Unfortunately, I was just getting warmed up and organized and his info wasn’t in the book and who knows where I put my notes…
- Trentadue Winery ~ Alexander Valley
- Vina Robles ~ Paso Robles
- Vincent Arroyo ~ Napa
- Wente ~ Livermore
- Wilson Vineyards ~ Presenting~ Clarksburg
So many wines! I just didn’t have time to taste them all and talk with everyone!