While we know malbecs have been the must-have reds for the last few years, our most recent red of choice has been the petite sirah: a deep, jammy mouthful that manages to blend fruit, pepper, licorice and other odds and sods into a rich red that’s neither too sweet, nor too dry, and a perfect silky sip to complement your rich holiday cuisine.
Here are a few of our must-have stocking stuffers:
The Crusher Grower’s Selection 2011 – The Crusher crushes it! Yes, we will confess to stealing that clever headline from one of our favorite wine lover’s associations, which has an equally clever name, P.S. I Love You (Petite Sirah, I Love You). And in addition to thanking them the use of their headline, first and foremost, we should be thanking them for introducing us to this petite sirah that is one of the most luscious and silkiest ones we’ve tried. It’s a beautiful blend of fruit (blackberry, cherry) and spice (pepper plus vanilla) and the price tag is equally beautiful: running about $18 retail.
Line 39 2011– Yes, I know this small Cali vineyard keeps popping up on our blog that is supposed to be focused on southern hemisphere wines, but we can’t help that they make some great and affordable lines! Even our friends visiting from South Africa were blown away by both the price ($11) and taste of this full bodied, well balanced petite sirah. For those who love a transparent wine, it might be almost too smooth, but for those who are new to petite sirah or prefer to just close their eyes and bask in the perfect blend of velvety flavors, this is a great try—and buy—for you.
Charlie Herring Durif 2010– One of the first P.S.’s to come out of South Africa, where they use the grape name, Durif, the 2010 vintage by the U.K. based company (which started their first South African plantings a mere six years ago) has been creating buzz. Sadly, it’s hard to track down in the U.S. We had to rely on our U.K. relatives to rustle up a bottle of this full-bodied red, which runs 25 GBP or roughly $40, but is already being touted for its long-term potential.
Imprimata Shiraz/Petite Sirah 2010 – Representing the Ozzie front, this blend from Southern Australia has been earning rave reviews from Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, and numerous blogs. A little on the pricier side (running about $40 a bottle) the splurge is worth it if you love a rich red that you can practically chew and combines plum, berries, and spices into a perfect finish.
John Gehring Durif 2010 – Okay, we have to admit, we’ve been having a hard time getting our hands on this award-winning Australian petite sirah. But after taking home silver and bronzes at several competitions, we’re eager to try this full flavored red that is being touted down under. (Runs roughly $35 a bottle.)
R.I.P. Drops of Jupiter—On a sad note (and very sad note for P.S. I Love You partner in crime Bucky who introduced us to this favorite) we have heard that this well acclaimed petite sirah is no longer going to be on the market. Why Train, why? Yes, it is produced by the ear-worm inducing rock band who brought you Drops of Jupiter (the song and wine) and Calling All Angels (also the song, and a darn good Chardonnay). Hopefully the guys will change their mind and the band will play on, rolling out some more great vintages in coming year. But if not, grab a bottle while you can and enjoy!