Friday, September 7, 2012

Stags’ Leap 2007 Petite Syrah, Napa Valley

See the inexpensive wine selection for great prices.

This almost jet black Petite Sirah from a top Stags’ Leap winery is a blissful pleasure to sip. It almost makes you overlook that the bottle is apparently mislabeled.

Petite Sirah is a not related to the more famous Syrah grape. Petite Sirah is the grape variety known as Diraf, which is almost extinct in France, but grown in California, Australia and Israel. The Petite part of the name comes from the size of its diminutive grapes. For some reason the wine is named “Petite Syrah” by the winery even though its promotional materials refer to it as Petite Sirah.

We’ll forgive the winery the apparent mislabeling because several glasses will make you forget all about it. I picked this bottle up at a wine dinner for $28.

While Syrah can be rugged and earthy, the Petite Sirah is sumptuous on the palate with lush blueberry and blackberry.  The grapes are a 1920s-era field blend, which also includes small amounts of other Rhône varietals including Syrah (8%), Grenache (4%) and Viognier (2%).

The vines are 30-years old and come from vineyards located in front of the Manor House on the estate’s deep, rocky soils (and some other partner growers in Napa). Blockbuster wines like this have made Stags’ Leap synonymous with Petite Sirah. 

This wine makes crossing over to the “dark side” a pleasurable experience.

Rating: 4 of 5  Value: 4 of 5
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