#347 Fairview Petite Sirah 2021

TECHNICAL SPECS

🔬 Wine of Origin Paarl. 100% Petite Sirah. Winemaker Anthony de Jager. Fruit is harvested from a trellised vineyard planted in 2004 in decomposed granite soils on the upper slopes of the Fairview farm on Paarl Mountain. The vineyard canopy is kept tidy to allow more sun into the fruit zone. Yields are controlled by dropping bunches AFTER veraison.
In the cellar, the grapes are actually worked quite hard (three pumpovers per day) which gets great colour…BUT also gets gargantuan tannins. SO, the wine if pressed off the skins before fermentation is finished. The final wine is matured in French and American oak for 24 months.
Alc 14.49% | Sugar 3.2g | Total Acid 5.7g | pH 3.47 |

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Durif: France’s Vinous Outcast

We’ve spoken before about Petite Sirahs French history, and how it accidentally created by a botanist call Francois Durif (and there is a link to that video at the bottom of this page). But despite being born in France, Durif’s homeland had little patience for the brawny inky fruit monster, and so the cultivar never really managed to settle in it’s homeland. This is evidenced by the fact that – according to Dr José Vouillamoz – Durif vines in France are all but extinct.

A new home in the New world

Happily, that is not the end of the story, and within the last century, Petite Sirah managed to find an adopted home in the new world; California!
It’s balshy tannins were tamed by the warmth of the Californian sun, and as for those ovwehelmingly voluptuous ripe fruit elements…well, they seemed to suit the Californian palate down to the ground. Between 2008 and 2022, Petite Sirah plantings increased by a solid 250%, reaching almost 5000 hectares in california alone.

It’s garnered favour south of the border as well, with Mexico investing in a healthy dose of Petite Sirah love.

Africa is catching on

Interestingly, in South Africa in that same period, Durif grew its plantings by a massive 3000% – from a mere 14ha up to almost 500ha.
What’s more…at the beginning of 2024, Durif was the red cultivar that had grown by the largest % in the last 12 months.
So while California may still be the only region that has its own dedicated Petite Sirah Association – very cutely titled “PS I Love you”, there are growers here in South Africa who see promise in it, too.

TASTING NOTES

👃🏼 The vanguard carries generous black cherry, plums, blackcurrant pastille, and nutmeg, with a little herbal flourish of fennel.
👄 Dense waves of blueberry, blk plum, blackcurant pastille, intense liquorice and overt black pepper spice. The tannins are super dense, but weirdly quite pleasant, mostly because they are the only things standing between you and an overwhelming tsunami of ripe fruit. It’s a fascinating experience as the fruit and tannins trade blows as the fruit slowly comes to a lingering finish. Completely unexpectedly, given the ripe blue fruit entry, the tail end has some delightful red cherry and (believe it or not) raspberry notes, along with a really interesting sort of black tea type herbal experience! An impressively unpredictable drinking experience.

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