Vintage Wine Tasters Petite Sirah Taste Off


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Joe Becerra

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The Vintage Wine Tasters met this past Wednesday at our bimonthly meeting to blind taste and judge six Petite Sirah wines in the budget category of around $20 or less. In case you are new to following the Vintage Wine Tasters, we are a group of nine hobbiest wine drinkers who love discovering terrific wine bargains and values. We drink a lot of wines and have been doing so for a very long time, hence the name of our group, Vintage. Our host Bruce did a terrific job searching out Petite Sirah wines in this price category. It seems to be that the majority of Petite Sirah wines are above $30 mark in price, so the task of finding quality Petite Sirah was a little more intensive than the norm. The host always has the assignment of searching out wines and tasting a broad selection until arriving upon the top six for the wine tasting.


Here are the results of the Petite Sirah taste off.

2007 Jeff Runquist Winery, R Salman Vineyard, Clarksburg – $22.99 at Beltramos
2008 McManis – $9.99 at K&L Wines
2007 Bogle – $8.99 at The Wine Stop, Burlingame CA
2007 Powder Keg Hopland – $12.99 at BevMo
2007 Vina Robles, Jardine – $19.99 at K&L Wines
2007 David Bruce Central Coast – $16.99 at K&L Wines or $14.99 at Beltramos

The Jeff Runquist Petite was a runaway winner with almost all tasters having it at the top of the list. Conversely, the David Bruce was at the bottom of almost everyone’s list. Also a big surprise was the Vina Robles in 5th place at our tasting. The Vina Robles Petite Sirah had a 93-Point Rating from the Wine Enthusiasts and an exceptional rating from wine writer Dan Berger. This information of course was revealed as each wine was uncovered. We had a big discussion about this wine and re-tasted it with our lunch. The wine was good but still ranked in 5th place.

The McManis at $9.99 and the Bogle at $8.99, the 2nd and 3rd ranked wines are terrific bargains at under $10. Incidentally, the Manus Petite co-winemaker is Jeff Rundquist, who made our top choice wine. Yes, the Rundquist wine is over the $20 mark by just a bit, but we felt at this price the wine was an amazing value and could easily be above the $30 range.

Our next taste off in two months will be Malbecs. There are many good Malbec wines from Argentina well under $20 and lately we have seen more California wineries producing this varietal. This should be a fascinating tasting.

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

5 thoughts on “Vintage Wine Tasters Petite Sirah Taste Off”

  1. Petite Sirah – I’ve never had much luck with PS but I know some people swear by it. I’m curious about Jeff Runquist’s offering because I’ve had some great bottles from his winery especially his Barbera. It’s interesting to know that Runquist is also the co-winemaker at McManis but not surprising that they ranked one and two in your tasting. I’m sure Runquist employs the same wine making practices and philosophy at both his and McManis winery. I’m also not surprised that David Bruce ranked last. I had a David Bruce PS a few weeks ago and it was awful. We ended up pouring the bottle out.

    • Andrew,
      One Petite Sirah we have really enjoyed several years running is from Cedarville winery in the Sierra Foothills. They are in the Fair Play AVA. It sells for around $25. If you ever get a chance you should visit this terrific 3000 case winery. Jon Lachs and Susan Morse are the winemakers, owners, and are married to one another.

  2. Petite Sirah, is always very dark and usually high in alcohol, if it is ripe. That being said,PS if well made is excellent foil for red meat and ripe cheese. Unlike Zin or Pinot Noir, you would be hard pressed to drink a lot of this wine in one night. In the past it was used to give color to wines that were very light. It also has been the center of law suits for people who cheat in selling wines that are doctored. I understand there is a group of wine lovers of Petite Sirah called–PS I LOVE YOU….

  3. Had the Rosenblum Kick Ranch last week, and it qualifies as paint. So dark black in color and heavy oak aroma. It could win a tasting but it would wear down your palate over an evening. Very high extraction, but the tannins are not searing.

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