Petite Sirah is red-skinned red grape varietal with its origins in France. In the late 1800s, Dr. Durif crossed Syrah and Peloursin in the Rhone region of France and called it Petite Sirah. The TTB considers Petite Sirah and Durif to be synonymous, and a bottle of wine can be labeled as either. Petite Sirah has a high tannin structure and good acidity and is often used as a blending grape for Zinfandels to give the wine more punch. The fruit grows in small tight clusters and has a relatively low yield. There is a high skin to juice ratio when the grapes are pressed, creating the heavy tannin structure that will soften with aging. In California, Petite Sirah is grown in Clear Lake, Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles, and Monterey.
Petite Sirah is an inky dark wine that has the aromas of plums, blackberries, blueberries, anise, and black pepper, with the flavor of blackberries, plums, licorice, vanilla, and oak. A young Petite Sirah will have a high tannin structure that will soften with barrel aging or in the bottle over time.
Petite Sirah is a big wine with a high tannin structure. The tannin structure makes it an excellent pairing for steak, veal, sausages, grilled meats, lamb, and game.