Wine Blogging Wednesday #40
Once again, it’s my favorite day of the month: Wine Blogging Wednesday. For those who don’t know, Wine Blogging Wednesday is a day that happens once a month when wine bloggers from around the world all write about a common theme. The theme this month is Petite Sirah, one of my favorite types of wine. There is a host each month who summarizes all the contributions and this month the host is Sonadora at WannabeWino.
Petite Sirah, also known as Durif, tends to be a dark, concentrated, tannic and spicy wine with jammy fruit. I find it to be an absolutely voluptuous and luxurious wine. Drinking Petite Sirah is akin to draping yourself in velvet robes and lounging on silky pillows.
Petite Sirah was originated as a varietal in 1880 by Dr. François Durif in Southern France from a cross pollination of Syrah and Peloursin. Although Syrah is in its genes, Petite Sirah should not be confused with Syrah. It is a new and different grape. I’m always frustrated when I go to the wine shop and find the Petite Sirah mixed in with the Syrah. It just leads to confusion about this wonderful wine varietal.
Petite Sirah Meets World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is something I don’t expect you’ll hear about from any other wine bloggers today. But there’s a connection with WoW and Petite Sirah for me. “WoW” is the abbreviation for World of Warcraft for those who don’t know.
Yep… I’m a gamer. I play WoW a lot—although not as much as I used to. I would probably spend more time posting wine reviews if I weren’t wasting my time on WoW. But hey, it’s a lot of fun and I’ve been playing since the game first came out three years ago. If you care, my main character is a Troll Shaman named Hellworm (see pic on the right).
Anyway, I was first introduced to Petite Sirah when I started to plan for this website back in September 2006. I was playing WoW one night, getting ready for a raid on Blackwing Lair, and I was chatting with my fellow Shamans about my plans for this website. It turned out that Auriga, one of my best friends in the game, was also really into wine. That’s him on the left.
Auriga recommended Bogle Petite Sirah as the best $9.00 I would ever spend. I went out and picked up a bottle and sure enough, it was some damn good stuff. I subsequently tried several other brands of Petite Sirah and soon dubbed it a favorite varietal.
Since that time, Auriga and I have moved our toons to different servers and aren’t able to play together anymore. But I raise my glass to him and say, “thanks for turning me on to Petite Sirah.”
McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2006
I considered doing Bogle Petite Sirah for Wine Blogging Wednesday, but most folks already know about Bogle and I figured someone else would take care of that one. Plus, I found another brand that I’m really excited about and I wanted to share it with all of you: McManis Family Vineyards.
I haven’t come across McManis wines in many shops in my area. In fact, the only place I’ve found it is at Chateau Pomije (I’d link them up, but their website appears to be offline) in Cincinnati, where there is some buzz about McManis. The McManis Pinot Noir was so popular that they were sold out before I could get there to pick up a bottle. And I expect the Petite Sirah will sell quickly too when the word gets out. I better stock up as soon as I publish this!
McManis Family Vineyards are located in Ripon, California, at the confluence of the San Joaquin and Stanislaus Rivers. This area is known as the “River Junction” appellation. Although the vineyard was founded in 1990, the McManis family has been growing grapes in the region since 1938.
The McManis Petite Sirah has a beautiful, purple color. Most Petite Sirah that I’ve had is very dark in color. While the McManis is dark, it seems to have a lot more color saturation than other Petite Sirah I have tried.
Leather, black pepper, blackberry and smoke give this wine an interesting bouquet. The palate is fairly concentrated with abundant ripe fruit, such as blackberry & cherry. It’s smoky on the palate as well—there’s no missing the oak in this one. The tannins are like comfortable silky pajamas giving you a relaxing and sensuous mouth feel. And it has a nice, long finish.
I picked this bottle up for $11.99 and I gave it a 90. It’s very good stuff.
Wine: McManis Family Vineyards
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Price Paid: $11.99