In the 1860’s French botanist Francois Durif identified a crossing of Shiraz (pollen) with Peloursin (parent) grape. Widely called Petite Sirah or Durif. The Petite Sirah grape forms tightly packed clusters that can be susceptible to rotting in rainy environments, making it very suitable for our dry hot growing season at Dell’uva Wines, Western Ridge Barossa. The small berries create a high skin to juice ratio, which can produce very tannic wines if the juice goes through an extended maceration period. In the presence of new oak barrels, the wine can develop an aroma of melted chocolate. If you are a fan of big red wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, such as Barolo, or Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre blends then you may find the Petite Sirah grape to your liking. This historic grape is now rarely seen in France, but is making a name for itself in America and Australia.
Petite Sirah produces dark, inky coloured wines that are relatively acidic, with firm texture and mouth feel; the bouquet has herbal and black pepper overtones, and typically offers flavours of blue fruit, black fruit, plums, and especially blueberries. Compared to Shiraz, the wine is noticeably more dark and purplish in colour, and typically rounder and fuller in the mouth, offering a brightness that Shiraz can lack. The wines are very tannic, with ageing ability that can exceed 20 years in the bottle.
Petite Sirah has aromas of plum, mulberry with dark inky purple colour. This is a big structured wine, black fruits, rich tannins. Not for the faint hearted...!