Thursday, December 31, 2009

Petite Sirah - Day 2

Continuing my quest for Petite Sirah's on the East Coast, I have tasted three more provided by the generous members of PS I Love You.

We alternate every Christmas between the US with my family and Switzerland with my wife's family. This year, we stayed in the States. But as a tradition in Switzerland, we served up a fondue chinoise along with 4 different home-made sauces to my brother's family. The day before, my wife prepared the stock which the thinly sliced meats would ultimately be cooked in by each family member in the fondue pots. With pork, beef and chicken on the menu and sauces ranging from a mild basic sauce to garlic to curry, I thought a nice Petite Sirah would be the call, especially since I just received numerous bottles to try.

2007 Line 39 by Cecchetti Racke - Roy and Rachel Cecchetti started the Cecchetti Wine Compay in 2007 and earlier this year merged with Racke USA. Prior to this venture, Roy had co-founded the Cecchetti Sebastiani Cellars in 1985 with his brother-in-law Don Sebastiani. The name of this wine, Line 39, refers to the latitude of Lake County where the grapes for this wine were picked. This wine started with a great bouquet of fresh juicy red berries with a small amount of oak. On the palate, the flavors were more jammy blackberry, blueberry and black cherry with some oak and tobacco. This medium to full bodied wine with a 14.5% alcohol content had great structure along with rich acidity, a long finish and relatively smooth tannins. Be sure to decant this Petite Sirah for 30+ minutes before serving. This was a big hit. Roy Cecchetti is also a Director of PS I Love You. For $10, this is a steal.  A Must Buy!!
Follow-up: We just had a second bottle of the Line 39 with a homemade pasta and this bottle was as good, if not better than, the first bottle. This is a great Petite Sirah.

Over the holidays we shared two other bottles with guests.

La Storia 2004 by Trentadue Winery - Winemaking in the Trentadue family goes back several generations. The 2004 is the second vintage bottled under the La Storia label and is a blend of 90% Petite Sirah and 10% Syrah. The wine was made by Miro Tcholakov who joined Trentadue in 1999. Miro was born and raised in Bulgaria in a winemaking family and has now gone on to win many awards for his excellent wines. The La Storia Petite Sirah came from the Alexander Valley Appellation. This dark garnet colord wine has nice aromas of blueberries, blackberries and plums along with some toasted oak and coffee. The flavors from this full bodied wine were black fruits along with some cedar, white pepper and oak. It was aged for 16 months in 20% new European and French oak barrels and the remainder in 2-3 year old mixed American and European oak. The tannins were slightly firm and the alcohol is slightly high at 15%. The Wine Advocate rated this 88 Points. I would agree with this rating. Although it drinks well now, this will be a good wine to hold for another 5 years. Again, be sure to decant this wine prior to serving. Overall, the consensus was very nice wine. The La Storia 2004 retails for about $15.

Pedroncelli 2006 -This Dry Creek Valley winery is a family owned and operated winery that dates back 1927 when John Pedroncelli Sr bought a small vineyard and winery. In 1963, John's two son's Jim and John Jr. purchased the property from their father. The third generation joined the family business in the early 1990's and are now heading the charge. The petitie sirah vines were first planted on the property in the early 1900's. The 2006 Petite Sirah is a dark purple wine that is a blend of 89% Petite Sirah and 11% Cabernet Franc. This wine was aged for 12 months in American and French oak barrels, one quarter new oak with the balance in seasoned oak barrels. The aromas are rich in black fruit along with the earthy tones from the region and a slight herbal note. The flavors were full of fresh black fruits along with some spicy cocoa, vanilla and the earthiness from the terroir. The Cabernet Franc was very visible, but also really tasty. There was nice complexity with pretty round tannins. The alcohol was only 13.9% which was just perfect for this wine. The finish was a little short but overall a nice wine. We came back the next day and tasted it again and it had evolved even more. As with the others, this is a young Petite Sirah that needs to be decanted for at least a half-hour or more if you have the time. Better yet, stick it in the cellar for a few more years and then pop the cork. The Pedroncelli 2006 Petite Sirah retails for about $15. Give this one a try.

Stay tuned for more of my/our Petite Sirah tastings.


  1. Pedroncelli's vineyard is just down the road a bit from where my uncle had his small vineyard and made his wine. We almost purchased grapes from this family. They are wonderful people and skilled growers. I keep their numbers handy and if we ever decide to expand our Zinfandel production, this vineyard will be high on our list.
    Arden Burt
    Brian Arden Wines

  2. Thanks Burt. Looking forward to trying your wines.