8.26.09 Les Petits

22 09 2009
The Petits

The Petits

After some bucolic day-tripping in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County, jet setter/young wino Tim Borjas was inspired by some petite sirahs, and suggested a tasting of the beastly little berries. Trying to be inclusive and diverse (this is San Francisco…) I wanted to spice things up by including the Bordeaux-based underdog blending grape: petit verdot. The only problem? Damn near no one makes a single varietal bottling of PV. So to start things off, we tried a California Bordeaux-blend with a staggering 14% petit verdot…

2005 Girard “Artistry” Red Wine, (Napa Valley, CA), $42. Right out of the gate, Ellen got blackberry, rained-upon asphalt, and Dr. Pepper on the nose. Katie found it minerally, with a damp cave/geode component. Alea thought it was earthy, and seconded the bubbly carbonation aroma with Coca-Cola. Ever the alchy, Tim got Jägermeister. Sarah got rose, Ben got pepper, Nikki got leather, new car smell, and thought it wasn’t very fruity. I got black cherry Robitussin.
The palate was earthy, according to Tim, and Ellen thought it tasted heavier than it smelled. Katie thought it was pretty tannic. Alea got plum and cherry. I thought it was chalky with medium-high acidity. Sarah got lemon zest and Brie also found it fairly tannic. Not the best example of petit verdot on its own, but at the time, 14% had to do for this Cab Sauv-based blend.

Our first petite sirah was a 2006 Truett-Hurst “Burning Man” Petite Sirah (North Coast, CA), $32. On the nose, Ryan got BBQ sauce. Chris C seconded that with Mickey D’s BBQ sauce, specifically. Chris H got jam, Sarah got Play-Doh, Katie got black cherry, Nikki got candied yams, Colin got blackberry, and Alea and I got boysenberry.
Sarah got raisin on the palate, Sarah got nutmeg, and I got black cherry candy. Chris H got black pepper on the finish while Colin found it harsh and Alea found it hot from alcohol.

Next was an 2007 Bogle Petite Sirah, (California), $11.
Nikki got blueberry on the nose, along with a graphite/pencil shavings component that Colin noticed too. Chris H. thought it smelled like autumn. Sarah got saffron and white truffle, Ben got cornbread, Ellen got something greater than juice, but less then jam, and damn near everybody got school supplies.
As for the palate, I got JUICE(!), watered down Petite Sirah juice perchance, but JUICE nonetheless. Chris H. got guava, Ryan got prune juice, Alea got ‘shrooms, and Sarah found it very drinkable.

2006 David Bruce Petite Sirah (Central Coast, CA), $20. At the get-go, Tim got barnyard/poo on the nose. Colin got beef jerky which Katie seconded with a meaty, tobacco-y component and a touch of hella dark chocolate. Ben and Ellen got sulfur, Emily got stinky cheese. Alea found an earthy component that Ellen echoed with damp forest. Genevieve smelled perm solution, Sarah got cat potty, and Tim later noticed Flintstone grape chewable vitamins.
For the palate, I found it plummy and like the last, watery. Colin thought it was peppery with a cranberry overtone. Ben thought it was smooth while Ellen noticed some bitterness. Katie got espresso with a coffee finished seconeded by Alea and Sarah. Nikki thought it was pretty tannic.

2007 Line 39 Petite Sirah (Lake County, CA), $15. On the nose Genevieve got sandy beach. Nikki’s nose thought this shit was bananas (B.A.N.A.N.A.S.) and reminded her of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle gingerbread man —  Donatello, to be specific. Alea got honey, Sarah got celery and hand soap, and Emily got caramel. Noticing Nikki’s aforementioned confectionery  aromas, Katie got Nilla Wafers dipped in cranberry, Colin got molasses, and I got sweetie pie, which I guess is a sugary pie made for/by lovers.
The palate was metallic for Nikki, smooth to me, tasted like cherry juice for Ellen, and had a cucumber and barley component for Sarah.

2005 Stonehedge Petite Sirah (CA), $11. Colin got rubber cement on the nose. Katie got canned vegetables. Nikki got chocolate covered blueberries and Genevieve found it syrupy. Alea got a zinfandel-esque port smell coupled with cough syrup. Chris C. got chocolate milk and s’mores flavored Pop-Tarts. Ellen got graham cracker and I thought it smelled like a fruit bomb, ready to explode in or around my mouth. That’s what she said. (Sorry, had to.)
And then came the disappointment: the palate was a watered down fruit bomb; a fruit grenade, or perhaps a fruit pipe bomb, if you will. Chris H. suggested cherry bomb. Emily got dried apricots, Katie got cherry Jolly Rancher. Alea got licorice and thought this wine was all about the mid-palate and not much else.

2006 Vinum Cellars “PETs” Petite Sirah (Clarksburg, CA), $11.
Katie commenced with funkberries on the nose. Always the sweetheart, Nikki got confectionery of course, and mushroom. She half-joked that this was the “pinot of petite sirah.” Colin got brie rind, Alea got gym socks, and Ben + Emily got roasted marshmallows.
Tim thought the palate was bitter and Colin found it jammy at first with the bitterness on the finish. Alea thought it was high in tannin, had a “Coke-y” finish, and “warms the soul.” Nikki found it meaty with an orange Peke tea flavor. Katie thought it tasted like Aladdin’s magic flying carpet transporting wild baby apples. This bitch was a favourite.

2007 McManis Petite Sirah (CA), $11. Colin got vanilla on the nose while Nikki got candied yams, milk chocolate, and homemade play-doh. Ellen got cotton candy, Alea thought it was meaty, Katie got basil, Sarah got Barbie doll plastic, lavender, and granmuh-style talcum powder, and I got barbecued plums.
I got more pleasant plum on the palate, Alea got campfire, Ellen found it pinot-ish, adn Chris H. got marshmallow. We enjoyed this wine much as well.

Well that does it for the petite sirah tasting!

Happetite Winos!

Happetite Winos!



………. Ok, just like 5 days longer.

On a otherwise uneventful picnic with a handful of young winos in Dolores Park, I was slapped across the mouth with none other than a PETITE VER-muthafuckin-DOT! Bless your heart 2005 Terra Sávia Petit Verdot (Small Valley Vineyard, Mendocino, CA), $15. Colin got gasoline and vegetable on the nose. I think they call that Bio-Diesel…? I got boysenberry and blueberry, Katie found it a little funky, and Tim thought it was earthy.
The petit palate had very good acidity, dark fruit which was mostly upfront, and fell a little short on the finish. Katie noticed the acidity as well and thought it tasted tart with flavors of green pepper. Tim got salty cheap olives. Overall, we were down with this little verdot.





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