Guenoc Petite Sirah
The bouquet packs a powerful punch - aromas of spicy blackberry dominate backed up by strong notes of freshly ground black pepper. Full-bodied with fruit that’s more elegant, less jammy than Shiraz showing flavors of blueberries with undertones of mocha and cedar.
$20.00 / Bottle $240.00 / Case
Bet you’ll become a convert! One taste of Guenoc’s Petite Sirah will have you wondering why this grape doesn’t get more attention!
Guenoc Petite Sirah is aged in French and American oak barrels for 18 months.
Long thought to be the Syrah of the northern Rhone, through the use of DNA fingerprinting, Petite Sirah has been identified as Durif, a little-known grape also found in the Rhone Valley. Durif itself is a cross of Syrah and Peloursin, so the name isn’t such a stretch after all.
Petite Sirah was widely grown in California during the 1970s but it was mainly used in blends to add color to lighter red wines. In an ironic twist of fate, Durif is practically non-existent in France these days. Guenoc winery, now Langtry Estate, was one of the first California wineries to recognize the potential of Petite Sirah to produce great wine on its own.
First, a little background. Lillie Langtry, flamboyant British theatre star, purchased the property sixty miles north of San Francisco sight unseen in 1888. She was quite a personality and with the help of her winemaker Henri Descelles, she crushed 51 tons of grapes for her first vintage and bottled the wine in unique vessels portraying her likeness on the glass.
Langtry proclaimed her wine "the greatest claret in the country." By 1900, Lake County wines were winning awards in international competition, and the region was earning a reputation for producing some of the world's greatest wines. Lillie Langtry sold the property in 1962, and it was a miracle that any vineyards were left after the destruction of Prohibition.
An abandoned hillside vineyard containing some vines of mysterious origin was found and that was the beginning of Guenoc Valley’s rise to fame.
Today the Langtry Estate’s 21,349 acres span Lake County, Guenoc Valley and northern Napa Valley. Not all of this area is planted to vines, only 449 acres of prime land. The rest of the rolling green hillsides are preserved as forest and grassland.