Sunday, February 19, 2012

Clayhouse Estate Grown . Paso Robles . Red Cedar Vineyard . Show Pony 2007 Petite Sirah

After I was so surprised by my enjoyment of the Clayhouse 2007 Syrah, I remembered that  last summer I had bought a bottle of their Petite Sirah, and my curiosity was sparked into a fire. So, though I've only tried a few  Petites my interest being rekindled set me a-lookin for that bottle, and for more information about the wine the Aussies call Durif.  I happened upon Dennis Fife's article : Petite Sirah / Petite Syrah , where I learned that he had worked at Stags' Leap Winery, the only Petite Syrah that I 'loved', and one of the very few American wines reviewed on'Leap #97, Danny and Brad gave this wine a glowing review. As I read Mr. Fife's essay I learned way too much to print here, but I did have a quote for you: "For example, when those of us who produce both, bring Petite Sirah and Syrah to a tasting, the press, trade, and consumers alike want to taste them side-by-side." Petite Syrah-winelabels by Dennis Fife Proprietor of Fife Vineyards.
Now, considering that the Shafer Relentless is 16% Petite Sirah, don't we all need to take a little excursion  to the valley of Petite Sirah in the shadow of Mount Syrah?

To the wine:
Clayhouse Estate Grown . Paso Robles . Red Cedar Vineyard . Show Pony 2007 Petite Sirah, $34.84-$40.99, 91 points, begins with a vibrantly violet color welling opaque. The aroma takes after the Vineyard's name (Red Cedar), but brings its earthy surroundings with it (forest floor and gentle floral notes), and even the bacon cooking in-that-there house adds to the nose.
Having a medium body, this Petite Sirah is smooth and not nearly so spicy as their Syrah, and the differences don't stop there: the flavor is not nearly so dusty nor is the plum notes present, but there is a delicious tang and tart in this wine, and a perfumed black currant carries long with hints of cayenne and white pepper. I have read that some wine enthusiasts feel that Petite Sirah does not have the polish of Syrah, but this is an elegant wine of many virtues, and I'd say polish is one of them.
Fear not chocolate lovers, this wine is excellent with milk and dark chocolate!

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