The name petite sirah was adopted mainly in California for the French grape durif, likely a twist on syrah, the far more common grape that is said to be one of its parents (along with the obscure peloursin). It produces big, bold, dense reds with a small cult following, as evidenced by the amusingly named website www.psiloveyou.org, run by a group of California producers that specialize in the variety. Stags’ Leap does a great job with petite sirah. The 2009 is classically huge, with perfectly ripe, succulent raspberry-blueberry fruit complemented by an earthy, slightly funky undercurrent. The tannins are fine-grained and offer satisfying grip.
Cellar it for up to eight years or drink it now with big steaks or braised red-meat dishes. Expensive? Not when you compare it with the $45 (U.S.) price for the 2010 vintage at the Napa winery. $49.99 in B.C., $39.99 in Sask., $40 in Que., $43.79 in N.S.