I’ve been meaning to write about this wine for a few weeks now and had been dying to try it for a couple of years before I actually bought it. I am a new convert to Petite Sirah which I rediscovered sometime last year. Thanks to Tina Morey of #winestudio, I attended a zoom chat about the Petite Sirah grape hosted by Jo Diaz and a number of producers from the advocacy group called PS I Love You. A couple sent me examples of Petite Sirah and I had an epiphany. I had tried the grape years ago but dismissed it as too sweet and overblown. I was wrong.
Petite Sirah is a red grape that originated in France but made it’s way to California and was “introduced into California by Charles McIver. He imported Petite Sirah for his Linda Vista Vineyard, at the Mission San Jose in Alameda County, entering the US through the East Bay.” according to the PS I Love You website
Unveiled by Francois Durif, a botanist in France in 1880 as a new variety, it is a crossing between Syrah and a grape called Peloursin. It is also called Durif in France, named for the man who discovered it. While planted in other countries such as Australia, California is really it’s best growing area. I wanted to write about what Petite Sirah is. When I read about it, people often describe what it’s not. I would hate if someone described me that way, so I am giving Petite Sirah it’s due. Positive attributes first and foremost I always say.
As a still red wine, Petite Sirah has inky purple tones, and aromas of blueberries, violets, bramble, sweet spice. On the palate it also showed great minerality and depth with silky tannins and a long finish. As a rose, I found the color to be a vibrant Salmon. I still got that great minerality and depth but also more of the fresh fruit and acidity than the spice.
I love the story of Theopolis Vineyards, founded by Theodora Lee who is known in the wine industry with the moniker Theo-patra. While she’s an attorney by day, Ms. Lee developed a passion for wine and purchased sheep land in the Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley. Today her vineyard has 5 acres and she makes a host of different wines. The winery is located along Highway 128 in southeastern Mendocino County, an AVA with considerable elevation.
I have a couple more of her wines to try and I look forward to seeing what she had created. I am always happy to support women vintners so it’s a treat to write about them. I heard Ms. Lee speak at Batonnage last year I believe and was impressed not only with her wines but with what she had to say about the industry.
I bought these wines for Mother’s day to celebrate my Mom. We are working through them slowly. This was a fun summer sipper and perfect with grilled Shrimp.