Petit Sirah aka Duriff, has toiled in anonymity for years. It’s a solid blending grape and has added punch and color to some of the most approachable bottles of bulk wine to come out of California and a fair few Aussies too. s.  While Petite Sirah has had trouble gaining a following, we are lucky that a California has a pretty good amount of old vine beauties, much of them dry-farmed, head pruned relics of a day gone by, that wine makers are begining to create wines from using modern techniques.
 
 A cross of Peloursin and Syrah, and named for its resemblance to the “petite” clone of Syrah, Petit Sirah is slowly establishing itself as a premium wine and earning a little of the respect it deserves. From the first varietally labeled bottle, Concannon’s 1961, to today’s broad range of  producers, it’s been a long, slow journey.
 
 In the hands of a good wine maker this wine offers wonderfully ripe, round fruit  and has subtle  black pepper spice and earthy notes. When young Petite Sirah has a rich yet chewy texture and a nice peppery note to the black berried fruit. In the mouth the wines almost always have wonderful acidity and tends to be a rich deep black red colour with ABV around coming at a surprising 13.5 to 14%. This results in a wonderfully drinkable yet fully flavoured wine, perfect for barbecues and grilling.

And the downside? Well the wines are not the most complex and while there is some development with age the appeal here is really the wonderful fruit.  After-all sometimes one just wants a damn good bottle of wine that one doesn’t have to think about to enjoy. And if that’s what you’re looking for: take a look Petite Sirah. Equally as pleasant on a dirty wet Irish day as at a BBQ!