Maybe I've had Durif in a blend sometime, as the varietal is correctly named. It's named after the botanist & grape breeder who discovered it in his eastern French vineyard in the 1860s.
It's thriving in California under the name Petite Sirah and, we sampled McManis Family Vineyards' 2012. It's £9.95 from The Wine Society.
It has a huge and intense bouquet on opening - fruit-filled and almost floral.
I poured a glass and let it sit for a while as I was busy watching the US Open Swing Dance Championships on line (West Coast Swing is also from California). The smell was so pronounced it floated up from behind my computer tempting me to take a sip. Finally, I succumbed.
On the palate, the striking thing is intense acidity and a raspberry/blackberry jam flavour that lasts and lasts. The finish is long.
Another sip reveals chocolate, black cherry, smooth tannin, and some nutmeg. If you like big California Zinfandels, and juicy Australian Shirazes, you'll undoubtedly love this. And at 13.5% it's a bit lighter in alcohol than most Zin, and that's always a help if wine is as prevalent in your house as mine...
After one glass, I vacuum pumped it up and put it away to enjoy again the next day.
Deeply coloured and full bodied - on appearances alone it's a hit with Mr Purple Teeth. He didn't get to taste it on the first night, and he felt it was more subtle than my initial findings. Yes, it had mellowed somewhat, but he still noted some complexity and really enjoyed it.
Looking up the winemaker website, here's how they describe it.
"The 2012 offering of Petite Sirah from McManis Family Vineyards is vivid purple in color, with aromas of full toned Blackberry and Boysenberry. Caramel and Toffee are evident in the bouquet, as well as a Chocolate oak profile. The wine is substantial, yet has a rich soft cream texture of mocha. Very elegant and full of ripe black fruit flavors of Blackberry and Blueberry. These fruit flavors are savoured in the lingering mouthwatering finish."
Sure enough this will appeal to those who like sweeter flavours even though this is bone dry. We'll be ordering it again. Cheers!