Making the softest Petite Sirah possible

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Boatboy24

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Agree with the others. Stick with PS. Your objective is a soft Petit Sirah. Make a soft Petit Sirah. It will be excellent.
 

Jay A

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Stay the course! You can always blend prior to bottling.
 

NorCal

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Stay the course! You can always blend prior to bottling.
That is the dilemma, I need to make the decision today on what wine to put into the barrel. The free run Mourvedre is quite soft, so It meets that objective and while it is blending two wines, it is less than 25%, meeting the criteria to still call it a Petite Sirah.
I think I will re-taste the two PS wines and if I don’t think the pressed PS will deter the final wine from being soft, I’ll include it. Thanks for the feedback.

Late harvest pick, water back to 25-25.5 DONE
- Light crush, all green removed from ferment DONE
- no enzyme or added acid DONE
- 3 day cold soak DONE
- Prelude non-saccharomyces ferment (2-3 days) DONE
- easy on the punch downs DONE
- pull off the skins at 1 brix DONE (.5 brix)
- free run only (if enough juice, .5 bar press max if needed) in process
- no or very little oak, light toast
 

ovjock

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I would like to add a counter argument. Petite Sirah is what it is - it's the bully on the playground. If you want something with a better attitude, I would blend it with something softer. Remember the fable about the Frog and Scorpion - at the end, the scorpion says "I cant help it, it's in my nature". PS is the scorpion.
 

NorCal

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I would like to add a counter argument. Petite Sirah is what it is - it's the bully on the playground. If you want something with a better attitude, I would blend it with something softer. Remember the fable about the Frog and Scorpion - at the end, the scorpion says "I cant help it, it's in my nature". PS is the scorpion.
If I could give 100 likes, I would. I had to watch a YouTube to learn the fable, you have totally captured the situation. PS is by nature big, bold and tannic, not going to change that. Small berries, thick skins result in a wine that is dark as ink, yet also have the harshness that can accompany the vast majority of the single PS that I've had.
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NorCal

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I did a taste test of the 40 gallons of free run PS and it was really dark, rich in flavors and very little tannin. The 35 gallons of pressed PS was also dark, rich in flavors, but the tannin was really strong. This astringency is what I was looking to avoid in the wine. I tasted the Mourvedre free run and it was really nice. The decision for me was easy, the barrel is 2/3 free run PS 1/3 free run Mourvedre.

While I know the tannins would have tamed over a few years or I could throw products and hit the 75% or 100% number to call it a PS. However this wine is for my family and friends and I know they wouldn’t care.

So, did I make the softest Petite Sirah possible? Technically no, I wasn’t able to make a satisfactorily soft 60 gallon barrel of Petite Sirah, with the amount of grapes I got. However, I did make the softest Petite Sirah blend that I could and I’m looking forward to how this wine turns out.
 

NorCal

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I also got a bin of Mourvèdre that I was splitting with a pal. When he showed up I gave him the option of 30g Mourvèdre and 10g PS like we had planned or 30g PS and 10g Mourvèdre. We poured samples of each and I know he likes a big wine, so it was no surprise he chose the 30g of pressed PS. Definitely a win win. I would say it was a perfect ending to the season.
I have the 60g PS/Ved barrel, 20g Ved and 5g of pressed PS. That along with another 30g of other wine wraps up the season.
 

Snafflebit

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Well, 60 gallons of petite sirah is a lot of wine. That amount of wine needs to be good wine. I bet 100% free run will taste amazing.

if you get the opportunity to sample wine at Turley in Napa or Paso Robles, they make six petite sirah wines. We had the 2019 Napa Valley Petite Sirah last night. We play a game of “Guess That Wine” and I could not guess it but I liked it and when I learned it is PS, I started swearing! LOL. I think they are making Varietal PS in a very drinkable manner.
 

NorCal

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Well, 60 gallons of petite sirah is a lot of wine. That amount of wine needs to be good wine. I bet 100% free run will taste amazing.

if you get the opportunity to sample wine at Turley in Napa or Paso Robles, they make six petite sirah wines. We had the 2019 Napa Valley Petite Sirah last night. We play a game of “Guess That Wine” and I could not guess it but I liked it and when I learned it is PS, I started swearing! LOL. I think they are making Varietal PS in a very drinkable manner.
I’ll have to find that.
 

Snafflebit

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Actually the other Turley tasting room is in Amador, not too far from you @NorCal

and, as another datapoint, tonight I decided to crack open a bottle of 2010 Turnbull Petite Sirah to see if maybe I was being unfairly partial to the Turley wine. I figure 11 years in bottle should tame those PS tannins. Turnbull is a premium Napa Valley winery I expect they know how to make wine, and they do make excellent Cabs and blends. This PS is very tannic at the start and we are powering through the first 15 minutes in the glass and really should have decanted it. The wine gets better after 30 minutes but it’s not lovely and I end up with a tongue as inky black as a Chow-Chow. Not a premium experience! There is no question that the Turley PS is better.
 
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