Gustafson Family Vineyards is a small, family run winery in the Dry Creek Valley. Each of their wines are estate grown on their sustainably farmed vineyard. I was excited to have the chance to try their 2009 Estate Petite Sirah (as well as their 2012 Estate Rosé of Syrah…tasting notes to come soon). It is 100% Petite Sirah aged in both French and American Oak. I am glad Gustafson came across my radar (and palate!) because they are definitely a winery worth checking out!
A deep purple in the glass, this Petite has intense aromas of dark fruit, cedar, and earthy herbs. The palate is loaded with flavors of chocolate, sweet oak, leather, and dark berries. Big on flavor yet balanced with many different dimensions! ($28, 14.38% alcohol)
My Wine Rating – B+/A-
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with ribs, spice-rubbed leg of lamb, or dark chocolate.
Concannon Vineyard has a rich legacy dating back to 1883 which includes being a major force in creating awareness for Petite Sirah. In 1961, they became the first winery to varietally label Petite Sirah and it has since become the flagship wine of Concannon. Their 2009 Conservancy Petite Sirah is grown on land in Livermore Valley protected against development forever. It is a blend of 95% Petite Sirah and 5% Petit Verdot and is quite delicious!
Concannon’s Conservancy Petite Sirah begins with a rich aromas of cedar, spice, and dark fruit. It is a little lighter-bodied than most Petite Sirah and features a balance of fruit and spice in the palate. There are tastes of cedar, blueberry, blackberries, and earth in the silky palate. Very drinkable and a nice value! ($12, $14.2% alcohol)
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with lamb burgers, grilled chicken, and stronger cheeses.
When I received a bottle of Petite Sirah from Andis, I was interested to learn a little more about the winery and the people behind it. Andis is located in the Sierra Foothills of Amador County and both of the founders came from Hawaii to follow their passion for wine. They have about 25 acres under vine planted with grapes that include Barbera and Grenache. Their 2010 Reserve Petite Sirah is 100% Petite Sirah and comes from the Goedeck Liu and Cooper Ranch vineyards.
Pouring an inky purple, this wine has intense aromas of smoke and dark fruit. The palate features lots of tart berries, chocolate covered espresso beans, tar, and bit of spice. Not overly tannic but still a little youthful. Very enjoyable!
My Wine Rating – B+
Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair this wine with steak, smoked ribs, or venison (think meat!).
I have mentioned pairing dark chocolate and Petite Sirah before and it still remains one of my all time favorites. As much a people like to think that red wine and chocolate naturally go together, it can sometimes be difficult to find a great match. I first tried Petite Sirah with dark chocolate a couple of years ago and was amazed at how harmonious the flavors of the wine and chocolate were together. A perfect dessert combination.
One Petite Sirah I recommend pairing with dark chocolate is 2009 Rock Wall Gamble Ranch Petite Sirah. This wine is loaded with rich tastes of plum, dark chocolate, and dark cherries. The chocolate flavors linger in the finish. A mouth-watering combination! ($30)