June 19, 2019

“Peloursin vs Petite Sirah”
Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews
Elaine Chukan Brown
Records and conversations with "old timers" who were around to work in pre-Prohibition vineyards show that little differentiation was made between Petite Sirah (aka Durif) and its parent variety Peloursin. The two look remarkably similar on the vine, are used to provide structure and color to a wine, and often appear in pre-Prohibition Mixed Blacks vineyards accenting the predominant grape, Zinfandel. Looking more closely at the leaves a lot of similarities remain. Both have 5 leaf blades and predominant sinuses (the cut into the leaf between each blade), as well as a fuzz free back of the leaf. Peloursin, however, is a slightly deeper green than Petite while Petite leaves have slightly smoother skin and lay flatter. Here, Peloursin appears on the bottom beside a Petite Sirah leaf on top. When it comes to the wines from each, Peloursin has comparatively coarser tannin as well as darker color and flavor. Interestingly, while Petite is known to make relatively tannic wine, the fruit itself has only moderate tannin but the tannin that is there is highly extractable.
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January 11, 2019

“Wine: Clearing up confusion about petite sirah”
Montreal Gazette
Petite sirah - or petite syrah [No longer legal to use the "syrah" version], or Durif as it was originally called and is still known in Australia - was created in the late 19th century by a French nurseryman, Dr. Francois Durif. He was trying to find a way to make syrah more resistant to powdery mildew, so he crossed syrah with a grape called peloursin. While the new variety was more resistant, I find it's more like cabernet sauvignon than syrah. Petite sirah is much less floral than its parent, and tends to show darker fruit and much more tannin. Lovers of big red wine may find it's even bigger than cabernet sauvignon, though a touch less refined. But I love its grittier tannins. In certain respects, I would compare it to Italy's montepulciano.
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