Petite Sirah Symposium, 10th Time Around
The 10th Annual Petite Sirah Symposium was held in Livermore Valley at Concannon Vineyard, historic home to the varietal. The passion for this grape and wine continue to grow.
August 1, 2012
Petite Sirah is alive and well, and the Petite Sirah I Love You (PSILY) organization is thriving. That is the conclusion one could easily come to after attending the 10th Annual Petite Sirah Symposium. Held July 31st in Livermore, between Martinelli Event Center, with morning sessions, and host Concannon Vineyard for lunch and a wide ranging Petite Sirah tasting of member wines.
What might have taken all by surprise was the closing presentation by Joyce Goldstein, chef and consultant to restaurants for food and wine. Joyce had received a number of Petite Sirah bottles from the membership of PSILY that showed a range of style and appellation.
Looking to new ethnic cuisine, many that include lamb, pepper, smoke, clove, olive oil, garlic, bay leaf and spice would be worthy expansion of Petite Sirah to the table. Turkish dishes of lamb and smoked eggplant, Spanish dishes, Mexican mole, Korean short ribs all came to her view.
The PSILY organization has again taken dynamic lead in driving more awareness of and commitment to Petite Sirah among producers, here, and consumers who attend their annual ‘Dark and Delicious’ pouring. How can the category not thrive and where else can this grape be planted to produce outstanding wine of structure and color when properly harnessed.
Stepping back to look over the broader landscape of regional diversity, the afternoon tasting took on a focus to what stood out between regions, after all this is the same grape. That is where the first thought again is Petite Sirah is alive and well. Wines from as far south as San Diego (north) County, north to Mendocino and the northern Sierra Foothills showed highly diverse aspects of Petite Sirah. During a vertical Best of Appellation back in 2009, coordinated by PSILY, various regional descriptions of Petite Sirah were committed to the Blue Book by Clark Smith. One of his continued observations about Petite from the host Livermore Valley is a lemon nuance that defines this region. It continues to be seen, even at this most recent tasting.
There is much to love in Petite Sirah and much to realize about all the inflections it can deliver of place. Add that with exploring pairings with new cuisine and one walks away seeing a very bright future. One simply has to venture to experience.