2011 Girard Napa Valley Petite Sirah

SKU #1150221 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.  (12/2013)

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Price: $22.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/29/2014 | Send Email
While Petite Sirah isn't always the most popular of section of the store, and often not the most accessible wine overall, when it is done right I believe it can hold up to any other varietal. When it's excellent it can age well against wines 5-times its price, and vastly over deliver for what it will cost you. The 2011 Girard Napa Valley Petite Sirah is a perfect example of when everything goes right with this grape. For years Girard has hung their hat on Petite and I think it is exactly this involvement and focus on the grape that has really set this wine apart from the masses of overly tannic, medicinal, astringent Petite Sirah that have flooded the market. Girard doesn’t go for the bigger is better model of PS here, instead they opt for class, precision, balance and reserve. Any of those four descriptors would be rare for me to use in describing a Petite Sirah, but I found myself using all four for this wine. Alluring charred meat, briary boysenberry, powdered cocoa and dried scrub brush combine in the nose without any sense of jammy-ness or over-extraction. Almost soft on entry the tannins here are always pliable yet present and there is no sense of excess or alcoholic heat. Full of complexity with flavors of licorice, sage, ground coffee, beef blood and wild berry, this is an instantly drinkable wine that could just as easily get better in your cellar for the next 10-12 years. This is truly a rare breed of Petite Sirah and one that completely won me over.

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/14/2014 | Send Email
When tasting Petite Sirah, I seem to have my mind made up on what I will think of the wine before I taste it. While I admit that this is a terrible habit, I have not found many reasons to change! While I have enjoyed Girard Petite Sirah offerings in the past, this is the first one that made me rethink the varietal. This has all the classic characteristics of PS done well: Meaty and smoky, full of cedar spice and hazelnut, vibrant raspberry and blueberry fruit, cocoa, toasty oak and some pepper spice. All of this is done with such balance and reserve. It really took me by surprise! Drink it now for some powerful stuff or give it a few years in the cellar to really come together.

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/9/2014 | Send Email
This old school Napa Valley Petite Sirah is a breath of fresh air from Girard. This reminds me of the old Ridge York Creek's with its bone dry, serious structure and balance of fruit and acid. I would love to have this wine with smokey, dry rubbed pork ribs and corn bread, and then stash away a few more for the future. This great 2011 Girard has the stuffing to go the long haul!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2031

Additional Information:


Petite Sirah

- 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. The grape is also grown with some success is South America - Brazil and Argentina, in particular - and in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.9