Harney Lane Vertical
I’ve had a fondness for this inky, silky, complicated grape since 2001. If you are new to Petite Sirah, look for it in your local grocery or wine shop and try it out. Bogle makes an entry level Petite Sirah for around $10. Because such a small amount of PS is being made, you’ll find more of a selection in the over $20 section. Learn more via my other posts.
The wines below were my favorites at 2011 Dark & Delicious event, here’s my picks from 2010. They fit my criteria—structured, juicy, complex and food friendly. Coincidently, they are all from producers who specialize in Rhones, Spanish and other interesting varieties.
Alana’s Insider Tip:
To taste these wines (all from small producers), your best strategy is to call the wineries directly. I’m a big fan of spending at least an 1½ hours at a winery, off-season or mid-week and getting to know the wines and the terroir, but if you can’t swing a visit, ask them if they distribute in your state or ship to your state and which events they are attending this year. If you’re really a Petite fan, join their clubs to ensure that you have access to their wines.
Twisted Oak Petite Sirah 2007 Calaveras County, $24 non-club price
Follow Jeff Stai aka “El Jefe” on Twitter and Facebook and you’ll quickly meet bloggers and new-school wine enthusiasts who love him and his wines. His fun, irreverent brand is cool but bottom line, his wine rocks. Jeff also bottles Rhone-style and Iberian wines. Twistedoak.com for a multi-state distributor’s list or purchase online or at the winery. Winery Tasting Room 4280 Red Hill Road at Hwy 4, Vallecito, CA Open Sunday-Friday 11:30-5:30, Saturday 10:30-5:30 Murphys Tasting Room 350 Main Street, Murphys, CA Open Friday and Sunday 11:30-5:30, Saturday 10:30-5:30
Harney Lane Petite Sirah 2007 Lodi, $24
At only 189 cases, this is a killer deal, especially if you want to lay down a few bottles. This family run operation has been farming wine grapes in Lodi since 1907 but starting bottling their own wine in 2006. They are collecting fans and awards like fruit flies on grape must so it will be interesting to see if they become one of the bigger producers of Petite Sirah over time. Current releases also include Primitivo, Old Vine Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Albarino, Chardonnay and a Dry Rose Blend (Zin, Petite & Tempranillo). Winery Tasting Room 9010 East Harney Lane, Lodi, CA, Phone:(209) 365-1900 Thurs – Sunday 12-5pm or by appt. Purchase online or at the winery. Harneylane.com
David Fulton Winery Old Vines Petite Sirah Estate 2007 Napa Valley, $45 (Also available in half-bottles and 1.5 liter)
This private winery doesn’t have a commercial sign so you have to look for the address on Fulton Rd in St. Helena. You’ll probably meet the 4th generation winery owner and you’ll definitely meet Stephanie Trotter-Zacheria, Assistant Winemaker and a fountain of knowledge and experience in small family wine making operations in the Valley. Dry-farmed, they make Petite Sirah, extremely small-lot limited production wines and Sweet Petite, a fortified wine. Visit davidfultonwinery.com for a list of wine shops and restaurants that carry their wines or order online or at the winery. Winery Tasting Room 825 Fulton Lane, St. Helena, CA Tele (707) 967-0719. Call and make an appointment, they’re very accommodating and friendly and have a lovely outdoor deck.
Stage Left Cellars Russell Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2006 Paso Robles, $40
I didn’t expect the first wine I tasted at D&D 2011 to make my top five. Located in Oakland, this super boutique winery works with a dozen low-yielding, sustainable vineyards, even trucking some grapes from Oregon. They are Rhone Rangers and make small lots of Grenache, Viogner, Mouvedre and a cool climate Syrah. You can taste their wines in the tasting room and then join a mailing list (not a club) to have access to their wines on a first come, first serve basis. Winery Tasting Room is open the first Saturday of each month 11am – 5pm and by appointment. Call 510-434-9930. Stageleftcellars.com for a list of restaurants and event schedule. Purchase online or at the winery.
Jazz Cellars Eaglepoint Ranch Vineyard, Mendocino 2006 $38
I tasted their very first vintage in 2008 and I haven’t missed one since. If they are still pouring the ’06 and ’07 Eaglepoint Ranch Petites definitely taste them side-by-side. Jazz Cellars wines always strike me as well blended and easy on the palate; however I found the ’06 to be much more complex than the ’07. Their wine is available at quite a few restaurants especially on the SF Peninsula and they attend a lot of events. See the list at jazzcellars.com You can also order the wines online. Get on their mailing list to be notified about their new tasting room coming this summer.
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