Deepen your understanding of wines and the quality grapes from which they are made with this comprehensive guide to Petite Sirah wines.
Petite Sirah is one of the most popular American wines, and it was made from a special French grape variety from the mid-19th century.
Despite its name, Petit Sirach wine is actually very different from Sirach because it comes from a different grape variety.
The grapes from which Little Sirah is made are called Durif grapes and are grown mainly in California and Israel.
The little Syrah is known for its rich, intense and fruity taste and its rich purple colour, which is known to colour almost everything it comes into contact with.
If you want to know more about this special wine, its origins and what makes this hard grape different, you’ll find everything you need to know in this comprehensive guide.
Origin of little syrah
Petit Sirach is a grape variety that appeared in the 1860s, when a Frenchman named François Durif accidentally crossed two existing grape varieties, Sira and Pelursin, to create a new variety called Durif.
In the United States and Israel this grape is called Little Sirah; in other European countries it is simply called Durif.
After the discovery of Dürif, the vine plant became a popular choice for winemakers because it was hard and resistant to mould.
In the 60s, a century after the discovery of the first grapes, Little Syrah wines became very popular in the United States, and many of them were planted in California.
Since then, other types have become fashionable and, more recently, Petite Sirah has become a niche wine selection.
However, in the last ten years or so, petite syrah has regained popularity and Californian winegrowers have multiplied to meet demand.
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Difference between syrah and petite syrah
Despite similar names, Sira and Little Sirah are very different from each other.
Syrah, also known in Europe as Shiraz, is half of the mother grape from which the small syrah grape grew.
The other family member was pelursin, which is hardly ever used in wine production today.
Where is the wine made from Little Sirah?
Small Syrah wine is mainly produced in California, where different varieties are grown in different regions.
It is one of the most popular grape varieties in the famous wine region of the Napa Valley, where a wide range of flavors and aromas other than Petite Syrah can be found.
For example, the small Syrah grapes in inland California are known for their deep, black color and rich, fragrant aromas with hints of berries and black pepper.
Go to the coast, and when the temperature drops a little, the wine tastes deeper and more earthy, with a hint of coffee.
How much does the Little Sirah cost?
The price of Petite Syrah varies from place to place. In general, you will find most of the wines available in the regions where they are grown or nearby. The price also depends on the variety you choose.
For a standard bottle of Little Syrah you can pay between 15 and 25 dollars. In areas where the grapes are used less efficiently to make a 100% Petite Syrah bottle, you will probably have to pay $30 or more.
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What does little Syrah taste like?
Little Syrah is known for its deep and fruity taste. Although the exact aromas vary from region to region, as many factors such as soil and climate influence the taste of the grapes, certain aromas and flavors are unanimously present in the wine.
As a rule, Petite Syrah, with its dark, dense, inky colour, has a fruity taste and a rich aftertaste. The different styles are more or less fruity and appear directly in the mouth with a pleasant tannic boost, as this is a wine with a high acidity.
The typical flavours you can expect from the wine are blueberries, blackberries, black pepper, vanilla, plum, dark chocolate, lavender, cocoa and floral aromas.
In the air, the wine has a fruity and berry aroma with a delicate acidity. The other flavors of Petite Sirah you can get are chocolate, mocha and coffee in the air.
Storage and ageing
If you want to get the most out of your Petite Sirah, it’s best to grab it and let it rest for a few hours to let it breathe and improve its taste.
Ideal for delivery at room temperature to obtain the full effect of the different aromas and flavours.
As a rule, a good little Sirah can live for up to 7 years, after which it is likely to become too sour to drink.
However, some winemakers, such as the prestigious Napa Valley winemakers, have produced beautiful vintages up to 20 years old. So be careful with these varieties if you want to add a little Petite Sirah to your wine cellar.
Recommendation for the service of small sirachs
A small Syrah wine can be perfectly combined with a variety of products and dishes. Its high tannin content makes it particularly suitable for rich emulation dishes such as beef stew, barbecue, hamburgers, roast pork, camembert, spiced lamb cheese fondue, fried mushrooms, caramelised onions and fried eggplant.
Here is the complete guide to the unique Little Sirah wine. We hope you found it just as interesting and informative and that at your next wine tasting you will enjoy a glass of the rich Petite Syrah.