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  • Writer's pictureThe Unassuming Wine Bros

Hoorah for Lodi Petite Sirah

The Unassuming Wine Bros

Though Petite Sirah's name is attributed to American Charles McIver, who brought what was then known

as the Durif grape to the United States in the 1880s from France, this full-bodied, fruity, and often well-balanced wine is petite in name only. The grafted love child of Syrah and an almost extinct grape - Peloursin, this rare bird of grape varietals (only 10,000 acres planted worldwide) is our focus in this month's wine adventure.

We are The Unassuming Wine Bros (UWB) – Patrick and Vigo - two regular guys who love everything about wine, including writing about it. Our goal is to explore the nuances of wine, share our adventures with you, and have a little fun along the way.

It's not difficult finding delicious, pricy bottles of Petite Sirah. What is a bit more challenging is finding affordable Petit Sirah offerings. But don't fret - we have searched high and low and identified not one, not two, but THREE excellent and affordable Petit Sirahs - two which are Michael David Winery selections and all three of which are from Lodi, California. We hope you try them and like them as much as we did.

2018 Oak Ridge Estate Grown Petite Sirah; Lodi, California; $15 U.S; 13.5% ABV

Vigo: As I have tasted and discussed wine with Patrick for over a year now, I have recognized the order of his selected wines is like an Italian Opera. Patrick always starts with a solid opener with a slow crescendo. The 2018 Oak Ridge Petite Sirah was this month's wine overture. With the aroma of figs and black cherry, it only took a few swirls to open up this blood-red color wine. It is full-bodied on the palate with blackberry, chocolate, and a hint of licorice on its finish. The 2018 Oak Ridge Estate Grown Petite Sirah is as smooth as the bedsheets at the Ritz Carlton but priced like you’re staying at Holiday Inn. A solid choice for those who have never sampled Petite Sirahs but are curious to try them out.

Vigo’s Rating: 3 Bros.

Patrick: I agree that the 2018 Oak Ridge Estate Grown Petite Sirah was solid, especially for $15. Like most Petite Sirahs, this wine was full-bodied and exhibited bright and dark fruit on the front - here blackberry and dark cherry - with a touch of dark chocolate and a bit of earth on the back. Although this wine lacked a pronounced finish, it was nicely balanced with acidity giving it an even, elegant smoothness. I would let this bottle breathe for 30-40 minutes as I enjoyed it more and more as it opened up.

Patrick's Rating: 3 Bros.

2017 Michael David Winery "Earthquake" Petite Sirah; Lodi, California; $20 U.S; 15% ABV

Vigo: Though this and the following selection are both fantastic Michael David Winery selections, it was difficult for me to chose which sibling was the "best of the best". The 2017 Michael David Winery "Earthquake" Petite Sirah lives up to its name. This wine should be in a different category when it comes to describing its color. Though I'm not sure if "Vampire Blood" is a recognized color description, it was the term I used in my tasting notes. The Earthquake has a very appealing aroma of dark fruit and baking spice. With an alcohol content at 15% ABV, this wine packs a punch, and it would be wise to let it open up for a few minutes before tasting. When drawing it into my palate, it felt like an "earthquake." Tannins, acidity, dark fruit, hints of vanilla and leather were a shock to my system. Though shocking, it was like being on a carnival ride. You didn't know how many twist and turns it would be taking, but a lot of exhilaration at the end of the ride. If you like your Petite Sirahs to be complex with a bit of a bite, the 2017 Earthquake Petite Sirah is for you.

Vigo's Rating: 3.5 Bros.

Patrick: I enjoyed the 2017 Michael David "Earthquake" Petite Sirah. Deliciously full-bodied and full of lush purple fruit flavors complemented by a touch of chocolate. This wine had a distinct juicy jamminess and was smooth and easy to drink throughout. I am probably selling this particular Michael David wine short because of how much I enjoyed "Petite Petit". The "Earthquake" was very good.

Patrick's Rating: 4 Bros.

2018 Michael David Winery "Petite Petit" Petite Sirah; Lodi, California; $13 U.S; 14.5% ABV

Vigo: Like the 2017 "Earthquake," the 2018 "Petite Petit" has a similar color profile to "Vampire Blood," but its aroma and taste profile is entirely different. After a few swirls, you will note the aroma of black cherry and black pepper. The flavor is smooth and full on the palate with black cherry, pepper, chocolate, and a bit of tartness from its tannins, unlike the Earthquake, which took your palate to the carnival. The "Petite Petit" is a trip to the circus with some excitement but ending with joy. The "Petite Petit" was my favorite of our three selections.

Vigo's Rating: 4 Bros

Patrick: I love all the wines made by Michael David Winery - especially its 2018 "Petite Petit" Petite Sirah. Of all the affordable Petit Sirahs we sampled this month, this one was my absolute favorite. This full-bodied wine - which is a blend made up of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petite Verdot - exhibits a rich, flavorful, exciting, and complex fruitiness (with both red and dark fruit notes), some vanilla, and great acidity, which takes you through to a lingering finish. This wine is a steal at 13 bucks. It would still have great value at three times that price.

Patrick's Rating: 4.5 Bros.

Vigo's Overall Impressions:

I wasn't jumping for joy when Patrick suggested Petite Sirahs as our subject this month. Though predominately a California varietal, I never considered selecting a Petite Sirah for a get-together, unlike my typical favorite "Go-Tos": Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, after this month's tasting, Petite Sirah might be considered when serving barbecued beef or socializing with charcuterie. So get ready, Petite Sirah. You might be getting some action soon.

Patrick's Overall Impressions:

Because I generally love the lusciousness, full-body, complex fruit profile, and acidity of Petite Sirahs, I knew this months' samplings would not disappoint. However, after actually tasting them, I can say they held up to my lofty expectations. While all three choices were at least solid, the 2018 Michael David Winery "Petite Petit" is definitely a contender for best value wine of 2021 to date. Check it out and let us know whether you liked it as much as I did.

Attention Fans and Readers:

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Rating System:

Vigo – / Patrick – UWB symbol. Ratings are given on a 1-5 scale, with five being the highest.

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