Durif / Petite Sirah
Petite Sirah, also known as Durif is a minor red but with a fan club - called ‘P.S. I Love You’. These US-based enthusiasts concede Petite Sirah arrived there by mistake - originally imported due to physical similarity with the grape’s ‘noble’ parent, Syrah - but are convinced of the offspring’s qualities. Being a small, thick-skinned variety it has Syrah’s age-worthy tannins but not its restraint, offering less refinement but more vibrant blackberry/blueberry and a much more silky, mouth-filling appeal. Also named Durif after the 19 Century French grower who identified this Syrah/Peloursin cross, the confusing spelling ‘Sirah’ distinguishes it from Petite Syrah (a straight Syrah clone with smaller berries). Virtually all Durif/Petite Sirah now makes richly fruited New World wines, notably in North and South America, Australia and Israel.