The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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Page 134 of 140

THE VARIETAL Petite Sirah Finds its D on't look now, but Petite Sirah has become a serious varietal category— and the trade and consumers are falling in love with it. Plantings of Petite Sirah in California now exceed 8,335 acres; a significant increase from a low of 2,400 acres (in 1995). California's Petite Sirah acreage actually peaked at 14,000 acres in 1976; but those were the days when the grape was blended into jug wines like Gallo's Hearty Burgundy (usually with Zinfandel and Carignan). This time things are different: like Zinfandel, Petite Sirah has carved out its own varietal niche. Petite Sirah Specialists, Big and Small One of the minds behind growing Petite Sirah advocacy group PS, I Love You ( is Roy Cecchetti, who, since founding Cecchetti Wine Company in 2007, has racked up sales of his "Approachable Wines" to 350,000 cases, now sold coast to coast. Anchoring Cecchetti's lineup: an $8 suggested retail Redtree Petite Sirah, sourced primarily from Northern San Joaquin Valley (Lodi, Clarksburg and Modesto), plus a $12 Line 39 Petite Sirah, blended from the Central and North Coasts. Each wine has its own purpose. "Redtree is designed to entice consumers into trying something new, at an affordable price," Cecchetti explains. While also reasonably priced, Line 39 is targeted towards "more discriminating consumers who have some experience with the varietal, but enjoy a more sophisticated, complex wine." 134 / the tasting panel / november 2012 Mystique IT'S UNDERSTANDABLE WHY THE TRADE IS CHEERING PS, I LOVE YOU by Randy Caparoso Line 39 Petite Sirah, blended from the Central and North Coasts, from Cecchetti Wine Company. PHOTO: RANDY CAPAROSO

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