2019 December: Petit Verdot or Petite Sirah

December 2019

Your Choice! Petit Verdot or Petite Sirah

It’s December already! Harvest is coming to an end here at Balistreri, but the holiday season is just starting. To kick off this wonderful season, we have something special for you! This month, all Wine Club Members will have the choice between two of our most prestigious wines: Petite Sirah or Petit Verdot! It’s a difficult choice because both of these bottles are excellent and worth tasting.

All month we will be pouring both Petite Sirah & Petit Verdot along with other excellent and unique wines in the tasting room. So even though this is a busy time of year, we urge you to stop by the winery to taste through our line up and find the wines you love. For more information on these wines, check out our detailed tasting notes below.

Oh, but don’t worry! If you can’t choose just one, you can always purchase the second bottle at the special wine club price of $38 (saving 20% off retail).

Although both of these grapes begin with a similar moniker, they are actually totally different varietals with completely distinct flavor profiles, histories, and origins. However, what is similar between these two grapes is the fact that they are often blended and rarely seen bottled alone.

2018 Colorado Petite Verdot (CVS Vineyard)

Typically, Verdot is a touch less tannic and dark than Petite Sirah, though it still has good depth, spice and body. It’s markedly more red-fruited than the Petite Sirah with notes of dark strawberry, black cherry, and pomegranate. This wine is dark and sumptuous, with beautiful concentration and length. Violets and subtle spice round out the aromas, while perfectly balanced tannins punctuate the finish.

If you’ve been a wine club member for awhile, there’s a good chance you are already familiar with our Petite Sirahs or Petite Verdot. Year-in and year-out, these are always Winemaker John Balistreri’s favorite wines. Not only that, but out of all the wines we make, they have the most proven and reliable track record in terms of aging ability. Indeed, some of our earliest vintages are still showing great 15+ years later with no signs of tiring out any time soon.

2018 Colorado Petite Sirah (Talbot Vineyard)

Petite Sirah is a work horse varietal that has immense tannin and structure. These qualities along with its mystifying and deep color give us a grape that is extremely useful for adding depth and punch to weaker wines. However, here at Balistreri we often bottle it alone because it stands up very well to our natural style of winemaking. Unlike other producers, we often prefer our Petite Sirah fermented whole cluster (with stems), and aged in neutral barrels. This is because we believe overt oak adds too much sweetness to an already ripe and fruit forward varietal. Furthermore, the stems (which we leave in during the fermentation) add delicate aromatics and spice that are otherwise lost with too much oak or processing.

All of this said, this particular vintage of Petite Sirah is especially unique and interesting. Yes, it has the power and structure we all have come to expect from Petite Sirah, but this vintage shows a vibrancy and freshness that is atypical for the varietal. I would go as far to say that it is one of our most aromatic and captivating wines this vintage. Blue and black fruit notes explode from the glass, while gorgeous spice notes of black pepper and tobacco capture and keep your attention. Rich and full bodied, this Petite Sirah somehow maintains a sense of freshness and playfulness; it’s a big wine, but it’s fun and easy drinking despite its serious nature. This is a total “show stopper” with charm, and will surely make a perfect companion to any holiday celebration this year or in the many to come.

Happy Holidays!
Balistreri Vineyards

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