Composed of 90% Petite Sirah and 10% Zinfandel, Dustin Pfaff’s 2013 D. Pfaff Bernier Vineyard Petite Sirah makes a big statement. Bold, beautiful, and just now hitting its stride, there is nothing petite about this wine. From the Bernier’s dry-farmed, head-pruned Dry Creek vines emanate a Petite Sirah with the varietal’s impenetrable purple color, deep berry and woodland aromas, and plenty of rich flavors to please the palate now, along with enough tannin to provide several more years of exceptional drinking pleasure. Although a bit more rustic than Dustin’s subsequent vintages of Bernier Petite Sirah, the 2013 D. Pfaff Bernier Vineyard Petite Sirah aptly weds highly extracted fruit to an equally powerful structure. Kudos to Dustin Pfaff and Michael Talty for combining two of California’s heirloom, crowd pleasing varietals into one big boned beauty. To fully appreciate this traditional Dry Creek style of Petite Sirah, we suggest affording Dustin Pfaff’s 2013 Bernier Vineyard Petite Sirah at least 20-30 minutes of aeration before serving it at cool room temperature (58°-°62 F).
D. Pfaff’s 2013 Bernier Vineyard Petite Sirah is a wonderful wine to pair with flavorful foods. Smoked meats, slow cooked Texas style beef brisket, and marinated duck breast all make splendid companions to this wine. Other favorite accompaniments include homemade lasagna with beef, sausage and cheese; braised lamb shanks with white beans; and pasta with black olives and carrots. Grilled Italian sausages with peppers and onions; slow cooked barbecued spare ribs; pot roast; and pasta fresca made with fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, vine ripe tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs also get our nod. Brick oven cooked pizzas and calzones as well as hearty chicken dishes with Mediterranean herbs and spices complement this wine, too. Traditional risottos with cheese, mushrooms, or truffles also provide tasty companions to D. Pfaff’s highly extracted 2013 Bernier Vineyard Petite Sirah. Enjoy!
Dustin Pfaff’s 2013 Bernier Vineyard Petite Sirah is a cheese lover’s dream, so why not pair Cheddar, Edam, Chèvre, Pecorino or your favorite cheese with this wine. For more information about the world’s finest cheeses and the best wine and cheese pairings contact us at www.cheesemonthclub.com and revel in how good life can be.
The 2013 D. Pfaff Bernier Vineyard Petite Sirah is Dustin Pfaff’s first vintage of Petite Sirah from the highly acclaimed Bernier Vineyard. He made it at Talty Winery in Dry Creek, the home of outstanding handcrafted, vineyard designated Zinfandels. Talty Vineyards and Winery are owned by Dustin’s uncle Michael Talty. While the winemaking rests in the hands of Dustin Pfaff and the folks at Talty, the grapes for the D. Pfaff Petite Sirah hail from a head pruned, dry farmed vineyard in Dry Creek Valley owned by the Bernier family. The Berniers know how to grow luscious Petite Sirah and Pfaff and Talty have a magic touch with both Petite Sirah and Zinfandel as well as a knack for fashioning small lots of distinctive bold red wines, which reflect each individual vineyard’s unique terroir.
Talty Vineyards and Winery fashions half a dozen wines each year for a total of only 1,300 cases. Each wine bears a single vineyard designation and is cropped at 2 tons per acre, which guarantees rich fruit flavors and plenty of structure to each of the wines.
Petite Sirah is a grape that is also known as Durif, named for Francois Durif, the French botanist who first identified the grape in the late 19th century in the south of France. Petite Sirah is thought to be the result of a natural chance cross pollination between Syrah and the French grape Peloursin. Durif or Petite Sirah (the names are often used interchangeably) is rarely cultivated today in its native France. However, this adaptable grape has gained considerable favor elsewhere, with California its main proponent. It is increasingly popular in Australia and Israel, too, as the grape is well-suited to a dry, Mediterranean climate.
Although called Petite Sirah, there is nothing petite about it, except the size of its berries. Petite Sirah produces rich, powerful, and often tannic wines that are typically at their best within the first 5-8 years of life, but the finest versions can, however, benefit from extensive bottle aging and live for up to two decades or more.
Petite Sirah has a long history in California where it has flourished since the 1870s. A favorite of Sonoma County’s Italian immigrant population for its deep color and tannic structure, Petite Sirah quickly found a place among California’s “field blends,” wines that were enamored by California’s immigrants and the state’s burgeoning population. At the turn of the 20th century, Petite Sirah was reputed to be among the three leading grape varieties planted in California. Zinfandel and Mourvèdre were the other players in that triumvirate. Although not nearly so widely cultivated today, Petite Sirah is enjoying resurgence, both as a key component in many of California’s finest Zinfandels and popular field blends but also as a single varietal. Rich dark fruit, plenty of robust flavor and ample tannins make Petite Sirah once again highly sought after.
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