Wine Tasting - New Releases of California Petit Sirah|
JUNE 1ST 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
We will be tasting new releases of California Petit Sirah, for inclusion on our list. Petite Sirah is a variety with many fans among consumers. Originally cultivated and labeled as Petite Sirah only in California, its origin was unknown and identification uncertain and could only be speculated upon, until late in 2003. DNA evidence from research led by Dr. Carole Meredith at the University of California at Davis has confirmed most plantings to be the same grape as Durif. About 10% however, is Peloursin, which, observed in the field, is practically indistinguishable from Durif, even by expert ampelographers. In the 1940s, Larkmead and Louis Martini sold wines labeled "Duriff" and plantings in McDowell Valley were documented in 1948. The fruit source for these wines was probably what later became known as Petite Sirah. Most plantings of Petite Sirah were made before the 1960s, when vintners were mainly concerned with producing copious amounts of flavorful blends of generic "Burgundy". Wines that showed varietal identity were of little consequence. Field-blending was the norm during this time, with many varieties often interplanted. As a result, few vineyards identified as Petite Sirah are "pure". Vineyard blocks are often peppered with vines of Alicante Bouschet, Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre, the aforementioned Peloursin, or Zinfandel. The reality therefore is that wines from these vineyards labeled "Petite Sirah" to at least some degree are blends, accidentally if not purposefully. California plantings have increased to over 6,000 acres now and as many as sixty wineries today produce varietal Petite Sirahs for fans and followers. Petite Sirah has long been an important blending grape, prized primarily for its deep color and fairly intense tannin. It is the variety most often chosen to blend into zinfandel for added complexity, body, and to tone down the tendency of zins toward "jammy" fruit. The format will be casual, walk around with cheese and bread.
The wines featured will be:
McManis Family Vineyards, California 2011
Concannon, "Conservancy", Livermore Valley 2008
Three Wine Company, Contra Costa County 2009
J.Lohr, "Tower Road", Paso Robles 2010
Marietta, Alexander Valley 2009
A sign-up sheet will be available at the front desk (253-5742 or 800-826-7000) and there will be a $20.00 fee per person.
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Trapp Family Lodge
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