I had the joy of spending Xmas Eve with my extended family this year. Our hosts went all out making everyone feel right at home. Brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, etc. gathered to chew the fat, graze the good food and holiday treats, trim the tree, and have an all-around great time. And, of course, there was wine for those of us who choose to imbibe.
One of our hosts, Mary Ann, had taken a trip to NYC earlier in the year. While there, she dined at the Bull & Bear Prime Steakhouse in the Waldorf Astoria hotel where – besides having a wonderful steak dinner – she was introduced to Parducci Winery via their 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. In her own words, it was “flavorful with a pleasantly big mouthfeel and restrained tannins.” She enjoyed it with her meal so much that she was inspired to find it when she got home and share the experience with her holiday guests.
But fate intervened. It was difficult for her to find any of the Parducci wines at her local wine merchants. When she did find them, it was not their Cabernet Sauvignon but rather their Petite Sirah that was available. Petite Sirah, as you may know, is a French grape (also known as Durif) that is a cross between Syrah and Peloursin grapes. At any rate, although we weren’t able to revisit her NYC steakhouse experience, we did get the chance to share a brand new wine experience together.
Wine: Small Lot Blend Petite Sirah
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Appellation: Mendocino County, California
Price: $9.99 at Total Wine
Notes: This was a pretty wine in the glass. It was very dark – almost opaque – purple with a beautiful rich ruby around the edges. It had a big bouquet. I detected exuberant blackberry and pepper, hints of spearmint, and a plentiful earthiness I think of as barnyard. I’m sure there’s a more elegant term, but hopefully you get the idea. It was medium-bodied and silky with good acidity and medium tannins. Alcohol was at 14%. Flavors for me were a core of red licorice and cherry with occasional notes of strawberry. It was quite peppery, too, with hints of dried green herbs. It had a nice firm tannic bite without being overbearing. On the finish I caught notes of moss and quinine.
When I got home, I also found it difficult to find Parducci wines at my area stores until I stopped at a Total Wine in a nearby town. They didn’t have that Cabernet Sauvignon, but I’m glad they did have the Petite Sirah.