What do we need to know about these three names: Shiraz, Syrah and Petite Sirah?
Let’s start simple: Shiraz = Syrah. It is the same grape so easy and straight to the point. Oh wait, there is rarely anything in wine that is straight to the point. Ok, same grape but different flavor profiles. Maybe we are making progress.
Shiraz is the name used in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Its flavor profile is usually fruit-forward, spicy, and rich. These wines are fantastic even in a young state. So go ahead and pair it with your next BBQ or chili cook-off.
Syrah is the name used in Europe (native to France, Rhone Valley), United States and South America. Rhone Valley Syrah produce some great age worthy wines that follow the subtle, earthy and complex Old World style. A very terroir driven wine.
Now Petite Sirah. A distance relative of Syrah. To help explain the following was taken from a group dedicated to this growing wine varietal “1880 – Dr. Francois Durif, a grape nurseryman working in southern France, released a new variety that he named after himself. It grew from a seed he extracted from fruit of the old French variety Peloursin. Dr. Durif didn’t know the pollen source at the time, but we now know that it was Syrah. The combination of Peloursin and Syrah resulted in fruit with saturated color and very dense fruit clusters.” – http://www.PSIloveyou.org.
Petite Sirah is predominantly being grown in California. It is very big, fruity, jammy, and tannic. A definite lip smacker. It is a very popular varietal among winemakers. They often use it for a blend, the flavor profile adds character and the dark – almost black – color.
We recommend to do the the following:
1.) Invite 6 friends over.
2.) Buy the following bottles listed below.
3.) Pour three small glasses of each wine in the privacy of your kitchen.
4.) See if your guest can guess which one is which.
Elyse, Napa Valley California, Petite Sirah, Barrel Select, 2007
Penfolds, Barossa Australia, Shiraz, Bin 28 Kalimna, 2007
Domaine les Aphillanthes, Cotes du Rhone France, Cuvee Le Cros, 2009 (French Syrah)