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.