by Fred McMillin
About one century ago geneticist Prof. Francois Durif created Petite Sirah in France, where it subsequently was banned because its wine was inferior. Today, Petite Sirah has found a friendly home in California. For example, Ms. Jo Diaz' Petite advocacy group (PS I Love You) lists 332 producers. So, thus Petite produce the better wine in California today?
About five centuries ago, legend tells us that the Syrah vines was carried from ancient Persia to France where it rose to fame on the Rhone.
Here are the top nine of a large tasting:
Petite Sirah Vs. Syrah|
|9th||Petite||Concannon Vineyards, Livermore Valley, 2008, $15|
|8th||Syrah||Robert Mondavi—Private Selection, California, 2008, $11|
|7th||Petite||Proprietors Reserve, Glen Ellen, California, 2007, $10/1.5liter|
|6th||Petite||Vintners Blend, Ravenswood, California, 2008, $10|
|5th||Petite||Sunset Cellars, Dry Creek Valley, 2004, $30|
|4th||Syrah||Sunset Cellars, Solano County, 2007, $18|
|3rd||Syrah||Cakebread Cellars, Napa Valley, 2007, $50|
|2nd||Syrah||Rosenblum Cellars, Lake County, 2006, $25|
|1st||Petite||Ballentine Vineyards, Napa Valley, 2007, $24|
Petite won—five of the top nine were Petite Sirah. Prof. Durif's Petite barely won. Try 'em both.
When the great Julia Child was asked what was her favorite wine, she replied, "Gin."
Tastings: Edgar Vogt
Statistics: Ophie Mercado
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for over 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.
Copyright © 2011, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.
This page created January 2011
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