GREG NORMAN PASO ROBLES PETITE SIRAH - 2003
I think one could argue that Greg Norman may be better known today for his wine than his successful golf career. His Australian Estates have released many wines that have been awarded with high ratings and critical praise. His California Estates are a relatively new endeavor tackling five different varietals: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Petite Sirah.
The origin of Petite Sirah has been contested for quite some time among wine aficionados. Most agree that the Petite Sirah grape, which can yield some of the most inkiest and saturated wines on the planet, is derived from Syrah and Peloursin. It is sometimes referred to as "Durif," named after the French grape grower who, through cross-pollination, brought the first Petite Sirah grapes into being.
Outside of Foppiano and Concannon, there are very few Petite Sirahs available at your local store. The best Petites you can find online or through special order and are usually in the $30+ range. Petite Sirah has yet to catch on with the mainstream, but it is no secret to red wine lovers. It is one of the biggest red wines you can buy. When it is made well, almost no other varietal can compare.
Made from Paso Robles, California grapes, this wine has gobs of blackberry with a hint of spice. It is incredibly smooth, almost silky, but shows tremendous power. So dark and inky in color it will stain your teeth and lips upon contact. Tremendous tannin and structure. Pure elegance.
SCORE & RECOMMENDATION:
This is an exceptional wine. It retails for around $12 - $15 and completely demolishes competitors Foppiano and Concannon. This is a bold statement. I am a fan of both Foppiano and Concannon Petite Sirahs which are excellent quality and value wines that consistently deliver. However, the Greg Norman has taken inexpensive Petite Sirah to whole new level. This is a phenomenal effort. Greg Norman, who humbly refers to himself as more of a "casual wine drinker" rather than an "intense wine connoisseur" has hit another hole in one.