Petit Sirah is a grape that seems to quietly stay in the background here in Arizona, but it is a grape with a lot of potential. This particular vintage of Petit Sirah caught the attention of Bess, who likened it to wines she drank from the Jura during her semester abroad. This wine caught my attention as one of the award winners from the Arizona Wine Growers Association’s Grand Arizona Wine Festival.
The Wine: The 2015 Petit Sirah is technically a blend of 84% Petit Sirah, 9% Grenache, and 7% Syrah, all sourced from Rolling View Vineyards, in the Willcox AVA. This wine was made by the students of the Southwest Wine Center. This wine was made using open-top fermenters, and aged in re-coopered French oak barrels. 59 cases were produced. The Petit Sirah sits at 3.69 pH, with 6.4 g/L of tartaric acid. This wine won 3rd place overall at the festival for the Petit Sirah category, as well as a silver medal for Wine of Distinction.
Nose: The 2015 Petit Sirah opens with a deeply floral set of aromas: violets, roses, and irises vie for attention with notes of bilberry, boysenberry, rosemary, and currants. Notes of Anise, vanilla, and Willcox dust round out the bouquet.
Palate: The palate of this full-bodied red is evenly balanced between acidity, fruit, oak, and tannins. The 2015 Petit Sirah opens with notes of blueberry, elderberry, red currants, star anise, rose, leathery tannins and rich Willcox earth. As the wine opens, additional notes of pomegranate and Kentucky cavendish tobacco emerge. The finish of this wine lasts for 50 seconds, containing notes of roses, tobacco, and calcareous earth. The tannins in this wine are firm, not overbearing, acting like support beams.
Pairing: I would pair this wine with lamb, slow-roasted over an open fire Greek-style, with lemon and rosemary. That being said, this wine would also pair well with green chile cheeseburgers and a side of curly fries! For a vegetarian pairing, stuffed peppers with eggplant will do nicely.
Impressions: Out of the medal victories won by the Southwest Wine Center in the last AWGA competion, I have to say this Petit Sirah is my favorite. The more Arizona Petit Sirah I drink, the more I realize its potential here, and on top of that, I’m normally not terribly fond of Petit Sirah coming from the Willcox area–I tend to prefer Verde Valley vintages. The girlfriend also enjoyed this vintage quite a bit.
I feel like this vintage, personified, is an existentialist French writer, but not a depressed one. The world, he says, may not matter, but since the world doesn’t matter, all that is left is seeking that which gives us joy. He is well-dressed, and constantly smiling, and never without a glass of something in his hand.