Petite Sirah’s Grand Prix

When was it that L.A.Cetto Petite Sirah from Mexico was Decanter Red Wine of the Year in the UK and cost about £3.99? 15 years ago? It was a great value everyday wine, to be sure, but it didn’t set the world alight or make hoards of wine producers start planting this grape. I wonder, however, if Chile’s Santa Rita might do just that with its Bougainville 2010.

The first vintage of this wine, which members of the Midland Wine and Spirit Association were lucky enough to taste last night before it is officially launched in the UK, is made up of 85% Petite Sirah (or Durif as it is also called) with 15% Syrah and aged in 100% new oak for 15 months.

bourgainvilleBelieve me, it can carry that oak. The aromas hinted at it but much more obvious were the black fruit and a certain herbiness. It was lush in the mouth with masses of sweet black fruit and mocha flavours, spicey, rich and long – the flavours go on and on – and the tannins are bold and rounded. A food wine to drink now but with a pretty long life ahead of it.

Sadly, it’s not £3.99 or even today’s equivalent. It is a premium wine and will be selling for around 50 quid. I’m pretty sure they won’t have any problem selling it.

For more information go to the Santa Rita website.