Petite Syrah has always been one of my favorite wines. Young Petites are so grapey and thick, and old ones are rich and complex, almost like old Clarets. The Petite Syrah grape (called Durif in France) has never been terribly popular, however, and saw its greatest fame here in California during prohibition and into the early 1970’s when many true world-class wines were made from it by producers such as Concannon, Ridge, Stag’s Leap and Freemark Abbey. By the late 1970’s, consumer demand had fallen to such a level that the grapes, even from the best appellations, almost couldn’t be given away. Today this has changed, with a cadre of true-believers, both producers and consumers, bringing the grape back to life and rapidly establishing it again as one of the great grapes of the world. The 2018 Ramsay North Coast Petite Sirah is exactly what a Petite Sirah SHOULD be—-big, rich and fun to drink. It has loads of bright fruit, yet also loads of big complex tannins (but not the mouth-scrubbing kind!). I love it both with food and on its own.
Russian River Valley