Petite sirah doesn’t have to flex its muscle. Sometimes a more genteel version is in order.
At least that’s how Eric Aafedt sees it. The Bogle Vineyards director of winemaking is behind our wine-of-the-week winner, the Bogle Vineyards, 2013 California Petite Sirah, a steal at $11.
This petite sirah has great structure, generous fruit, bright acidity, and a tasty streak of spice. It’s a less robust type of petite sirah and will appeal to those who prefer refined to powerhouse.
“Our house style is a fruit forward, complex, balanced, deeply colored wine with firm structure but not overpowering,” Aafedt. “Petite sirah can show its great character without over-ripening. Alcohols can be kept in check.”
This petite sirah has a great expression because the region becomes it,” Aafedt said.
“Clarksburg, where Bogle Winery is located, is our largest growing area for petite sirah,” he said. “This AVA delivers petite sirah with that great color and dark fruit that petite sirah drinkers look for... Rich soils and great weather contribute to grapes full of complexity and concentration. It has become a wine we are really proud to call our ‘heritage’ varietal.”
What the uninitiated don’t know about petite sirah is its origin, Aafedt explained.
“Petite sirah is synonymous with the French variety Durif,” he said. “In the 1860s Francois Durif cross-pollinated syrah with peloursin to create a variety resistant to powdery mildew. The variety was named after him.”
Aafedt said he’s good at crafting petite sirah because he had great training in the varietal.
“I learned a lot about petite sirah and winemaking while working for Concannon Vineyards in Livermore in the mid to late ‘80s,” Aafedt said. “Jim Concannon is known to be the first winemaker to bottle petite sirah and label it as so. This was in the early ‘60s.”
Aafedt said he found Bogle appealing because it has a rich history in growing petite sirah.
“As the first wine grapes planted by founder Warren V. Bogle in 1968, the original Bogle cuttings came from Lou Concannon,” he said. “The original cuttings were part of a 10-acre planting on our Home Ranch by Warren and his son Chris, who at the time was in high school. Bogle has continued to plant petite sirah over the years, with third-generation wine grower Warren W. Bogle, named for his grandfather, now farming over 180 acres of the varietal.”