This month’s top picks from the Lodi Wine and Visitor Center
Complied by: MICHAEL PERRY
Lodi is home to many outstanding varietal wines, most notably Zinfandel, but Petite Sirah is at the top of the list as well. Not to be confused with Syrah or Shiraz, Petite Sirah is a cross between Syrah grapes and a relatively minor Rhone variety, Peloursin. Petite Sirah, known as Durif in France, has adapted well to the drier climates of California, and has become almost extinct in its native country.
Petite Sirah has a deep, rich, dark purple color. Its small berries, and consequently high skin-to-juice ratio, allow these grapes to produce wines with high tannin levels, surprisingly high acidity, and the ability to age. Characteristically, Petite Sirah wines have dense blackberry fruit character combined with earthy notes, tar, and black pepper. A versatile food wine, Petite Sirah is great with steak, grilled chicken, barbecue, hearty stews, pork chops, pasta, and mild dry cheeses. The three wines listed are just a sampling of the many outstanding Lodi Petite Sirahs. Enjoy!
Peltier Station 2006 Petite Sirah
Black cherry in color, this Petite Sirah has wonderful aromas of boysenberry, raspberry, earth, tar, and black pepper. Flavors mirror aromas with mild tannins and medium body leading to a bright berry and spice finish. ($18)
Grands Amis 2006 Petite Sirah
A rich black-purple color, Grands Amis Petite Sirah exhibits aromas of dark berry fruit, smoky oak, and spice. The wine is medium-bodied with a pleasant mouth feel and moderate tannins. Bright berry flavors augmented by spicy oak lead to a lingering finish. ($25)
Macchia 2006 “Rebellious” Petite Sirah
Deep purple with hints of black cherry color, “Rebellious” offers aromas of red and blue berries, earth, dried herbs, and black pepper. Flavors of sweet berry fruit and spice are balanced nicely by the wine’s acidity and modest tannins. ($24)
For more information: Visit the Lodi Wine and Visitor Center, and taste from a selection of over two hundred award-winning Lodi wines. 2545 W. Turner Rd., Lodi, (209) 367-4727, www.lodiwine.com