Today we take a look at a 2010 Petite Sirah from California. Located just off of Napa Valley’s infamous Saint Helena Highway stands Girard Winery, makers of fine Cabernet Sauvignon, Red blends, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Today however, we focus our attention on one of their flagship products, the little gem known as Petite Sirah. I’m here to tell you right now, there is nothing “petite” about this lush, luxurious full-bodied red.
Characterized as “earthy and spicy” this red wine has a fantastic bouquet with pleasant aromas of dark fruit, chocolate and espresso. One of the stronger characteristics of this wine is that it is extremely well-balanced – making it a pure joy to sip, analyze and enjoy. But enough with the early accolades, let’s get down to business now, shall we?
- Wine Type: Red
- Varietal: Petite Sirah
- Composition: Unknown
- Appellation: Napa Valley
- Aging: 19 months in French, American & Hungarian oak
- ABV: 14.9%
Flavor: Uncork: I opt for my trusty old hand-held cork screw to gently ease the cork from the bottle. With the price being $30, I chose to let this little petite beauty breathe a good 20 minutes before pouring my first glass. Aroma: Watching the deep luscious red make its way in to my glass, I am instantly greeted with bold notes of heavy fruit, chocolate and espresso. Honing in on the fruit reveals dark berry, jam and black currant. There are also earthy floral and herbal spice notes present as well.
Experience: First Impression: As the first sip reaches my mouth, I carefully make sure it covers every area of the surface of my tongue. This heightens the flavors – allowing them to dance across my tastebuds. Espresso, chocolate, dark fruit and an exotic herbal spice all work in unison to present one of the more complex flavors I have had in a long time. The most amazing thing to me is there really isn’t a dominant flavor. Instead, everything works together in unison. Thick, heavy tannins and acidity balance the equation out nicely. There’s only one way to classify this wine and that’s full-bodied. None of this medium-to-medium-full nonesense, this wine is straight-up, in your face full-bodied. The acidity, heavy tannins, bold dark fruit, espresso, chocolate and spice all present themselves with up-front intensity, yet refined and balanced. As I mentioned at the beginning, there is nothing “petite” about this sirah – it most certainly is not for the faint of heart. Continued Consumption: The flavors continue to shower my palate with each passing sip – a true symphony of complexity, flavor and aroma. This is easily one of the most well-balanced wines I have had to date. Anyone who tells you that Cabernet Sauvignon is where it’s at, should pay close attention to this little gem. Petite Sirahs typically get treated as bastard step-children to the other, more popular varietals. But for anyone interested in stepping outside of their comfort zone, or looking to turn over a new leaf (and grape – pardon the pun) should give this wine serious consideration.
Final Thoughts: Well in to my second glass now and the wine continues to develop – showcasing its rich, bold flavors and complex aromatic tendencies. The one thing that troubles me is the fact that I only picked up two bottles. Which means tomorrow I race back to the store to pick up more. Trust me when I say, this is one wine you’re going to want to have on hand – to share with those special friends who truly appreciate a good, full-bodied wine. Until next time – cheers! Score: 93