A Guide to Petite Sirah Wine: Our 8 Favorite Picks

Petite Sirah Wine

Do you enjoy a good glass of red wine? If so, Petite Sirah should be on your radar. This unique varietal offers a flavor profile that is both complex and delicious.

In this article, we will discuss what Petite Sirah wine is, the difference between Petite Sirah and Syrah, and our 8 favorite picks for every wine drinker. We hope you enjoy!

Table of Contents

What is Petite Sirah? What is Durif?

Petite Sirah Wine not petite syrah

Petite Sirah is related to, but not identical to, Syrah.

Also known as Durif in California and Australia, Petite Sirah is a red wine grape that was created in the 19th century by crossing two varieties of grapes: Syrah and Peloursin.

The wine is named after the French word petite, meaning small, and Sirah, which was the original name for the Syrah grape. And the grape’s name, Petite Sirah, comes from the berry size and not the vine, which is exceptionally robust.

These tiny berries generate a high skin to juice ratio, which can make very tannic wines. It is one of the darkest wines that are typically full bodied with intense flavors and high tannins.

It was once only commonly used as a blending grape (for Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir), but in recent years it has become popular as a stand-alone varietal wine.

Petite Sirah vs Syrah comparisons
  • Two different varietals – Petite Sirah is a cross between Syrah and Peloursin, whereas Syrah is its own grape varietal
  • Petite Sirah is typically more full-bodied than Syrah, with more tannins and acidity with a heavier mouthfeel.
  • Petite Sirah grapes are smaller and darker colored than Syrah grapes thereby creating higher tannins
  • Petite Sirah is grown mainly in California, while Syrah is grown in France, Australia, and California

Read More about Petite Sirah vs Syrah here…

Petite Sirah Wine tasting notes

Petite Sirah wines are often described as having flavors of dark fruits of blackberry, blueberry jam, plum, dark chocolate, and notes of black pepper. New oak barrels may give the wine a chocolate aroma. 

Where Does Petite Sirah Come From?

Petite Sirah have grapes planted all over the world, but it is primarily produced in California. Some other wine regions that produce this wine include France, Australia, and South Africa.

Best Petite Sirah Wine Regions

Petite Sirah Wine regions

In California, Petite Sirah grapes are grown mainly in the Lodi (Central Valley), Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, Suisun Valley, and other wine AVA regions. Some popular wineries in California include Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Caymus Winery, and Turley Wine Cellars.

In Australia, the Petite Sirah grape is grown mainly in the South Eastern Australia, Riverina, Rutherglen, and Victoria wine regions.

8 Best Petite Sirah Wines for Every Wine Drinker

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Another delicious wine made by Caymus, this Petite Sirah is a robust and full-bodied red wine with notes of blackberry, plum, dark chocolate, and vanilla. It’s silky smooth with soft tannins and a well-balanced finish.

Coming from the lesser known wine region of Suisun (“suh-soon”), this wine can compete with any Petite Sirah from any wine region. In fact, Caymus now has a beautiful modern tasting room in Suisun Valley to promote the area.

Turley Estates produces fantastic wines, and this is just one great example.

This wine has a rich purple-black color with notes of toasted nuts and spices on the nose, as well as floral, black cherry pie, blueberry, and blackberry fruit jam notes. It’s a big, bold, and full-bodied wine with prominent flavors of dark fruits and chewy tannins which carry through to the finish.

Stags' Leap Petite Sirah

From an iconic and historic Napa Valley winery, this 2018 Petite Sirah has lots of dark fruit flavors, like plums, blackberry, blueberry and black cherry. But it also has savory notes of black pepper, smoke, and dark chocolate.

On the palate, juicy flavors of plums, blackberry jam, black cherry, licorice, and hints of pepper. This wine is smooth with velvety chewy tannins.

Although it is technically classified as a red blend wine, this wine contains primarily Petite Sirah (62%). 

This wine is a deep, dark purple color with aromas of blackberry, prunes, chocolate, and blueberry pie with a hint of earthiness. It has subtle spice but still very smooth and robust body with chewy tannins to finish.

This Petite Sirah hails from the famed Russian River Valley wine region in Sonoma, known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This delicious wine is perfect for any occasion!

This full-bodied wine’s aromas are primarily dark fruits, blackberry jam, and a little pepper. The palate starts with tastes of plum, blueberries, and oak. Then the finish has flavors of dark chocolate and vanilla with medium tannins.

Ridge Vineyards another historic California winery on this list, makes one of the better examples of California Petite Sirah using their Sonoma vineyards.

A wine that has rich and bold flavors of dark plum, figs, smoke, black cherries, and dark chocolate. And this full-bodied wine finishes with a hint of baking spice and soft tannins that is well-balanced from the acidity.

Robert Biale Vineyards Royal Punishers Petite Sirah

This Petite Sirah is another excellent wine from the same winery that is known for producing outstanding Zinfandel.

This full-bodied, big, bold, and jammy wine has a smooth texture and prominent flavors of luscious black fruits like blackberry, black cherry, and dark plum fruit. And I also taste hints of baking spice or black pepper.

Girard Petite Sirah wine

This wine is full bodied with baked plum, blackcurrant, blackberry and leather flavors. And this wine is also layered with oak, vanilla, coffee beans and soft tannins on the finish with a hint of smoke and pepper.

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