Petite Sirah lightens up

Scott Kirkpatrick of Mountain Tides, Petite Sirah specialist

The reputation, and style, of the humble Durif has been evolving markedly in California.

Known for its brooding flavours and robust palate, Petite Sirah (as Durif is called in California) is sometimes described as the most decidedly California wine. Its wines easily fulfill the stereotype of a full-bodied wine with ripe fruit that is so often associated with California. Even so, it has never achieved the name familiarity of Zinfandel (with which Durif was most often planted in historic California), nor the status of Cabernet Sauvignon (with which Durif is today most often blended). Instead, its reputation in the state...