2011 Vintage - 93 points Wine Spectator : A tremendous wine, showing both polish and power. Smoky, toasty notes frame the pepper, sandalwood, tar and licorice flavors, but with fresh, vibrant flavors of raspberry, kirsch and plum at the core. Drink now through 2025
Wine Maker Notes
Textbook conditions saw near-ideal Spring bud break, steady flowering, even fruit set, and a lengthy stretch of warm days and cool and often foggy nights during the long summer months. Late and light rains held off until our vineyards found optimal ripeness, bringing exceptional quality to the crush pad and into the cellar. In addition to exception quality Napa experienced one of the largest harvests in quite a while. This "fruitful" harvest also brought very balanced ripeness/acidity and intense flavors. Our Petite Sirah vineyards were excellent examples of this balanced growing season. - See more at: http://www.girardwinery.com/2012-petite-sirah-napa-valley#sthash.T2VAP2If.dpuf
Cellar Selection* Girard’s recent Petite Sirahs have been great, really defining a Napa approach to the variety, and their 2010 is right up there. It’s fairly high in alcohol, but there’s no trace of overripeness. You’ll find delicious blackberry jam, black currant, grilled bacon and black pepper flavors that finish dry, spicy and above all, satisfying. Wonderful now, but it should easily negotiate the next 10 years in the bottle.
Once thought to be related to the Rhône's Syrah, it ends up that Petite Sirah is more closely related to the Southern French varietal Durif, which is virtually extinct in France. On the other hand, Petite Sirah thrives in California, where it is prized for its ink-dark color, rich, peppery, black-fruited tannic wine and ability to age. There is even a group passionately devoted to the varietal called PS I Love You. While often bottled varietally, Petite Sirah is also frequently blended with Zinfandel to give that wine structure, and is usually among the varietals planted in the old vine field blends of Northern California.