For some time now, Petite Sirah has gotten our vote as Northern California’s most overlooked, underrated red varietal. Even though it was first cultivated in the southeast of France (where it’s known as Durif, after the last name of its discoverer), it is rarely grown there. Instead, it prefers the drier climate of its adoptive home in sunny California—where most of the world’s Petite Sirah is now grown.
Today’s release, Lot 887 2021 North Coast Petite Sirah hails from a pedigreed source in the North Coast AVA in California – an area celebrated for its exceptional vineyards and distinctive wines. Stretching all the way from the San Francisco Bay to the Oregon border, North Coast is home to some of California’s most renowned wineries, encompassing several sub-regions including Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Lake County, among others. The grapes grown in this region benefit from its unique combination of coastal influences, cool maritime breezes, and diverse microclimates, creating ideal conditions to cultivate wines with fantastic structure and complexity, exemplified perfectly by Lot 887.
For those of you who may be new to the varietal, do not be misled by the “petite” in Petite Sirah for it refers only to the berry size, which is small and, when farmed in just the right way, produces a wine that combines intense fruit flavor, vivacious acidity, and dark color with big, smooth tannins. If you like concentrated, inky, dense reds, Lot 887 is right up your alley.
Lot 887 pours deep, dark purple in the glass with huge wafting notes of fresh-picked blueberries, bramble fruit, moist earth, and a kiss of leather. On the palate, intense dark fruit notes of blackberry and black raspberry are powerfully, but elegantly backed by rich, meaty tannins, leading into a long, mouth-staining finish with a beautiful acidity. Lot 887 will pair fantastically with any barbequed or smoked dishes or anything with those delicious umami qualities. A word of caution, however—If you’re having folks over and plan on serving 887, make sure you break open at least a few bottles as it is bound to go quickly!
Watch as Katy Long, Director of International Wines for VWE walks us through a tasting.