A Petite Sirah worth seeking out

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Well-noted: Girard is revered for producing some of the finest old vine Petite Sirah from Napa. | Larry Ruehl~Sun-Times Media

Owner Pat Roney worked his way through Northwestern University while working as a sommelier at the Pump Room in Chicago. After advancing his career in the wine and spirits industry, he returned to his native California and earned his reputation serving as president of Chateau St. Jean and Knude Wineries in Sonoma. In 2000, he purchased the Girard label from Leslie Rudd, owner of Dean and DeLuca specialty stores. Mr. Roney’s focus on acquisitions paid off with his ownership of Girard, which continues to expand production in its Sonoma winery facility. Long known for crafting a stylistic Cabernet based Bordeaux Red blend called “Artistry,” Girard was also revered for producing some of the finest old vine Petite Sirah from Napa. In 2003, Girard received notoriety from Wine and Spirits Magazine as “Winery of the Year.”

There is a token amount of the 2009 that remains on the shelves, but it is worth the effort to search out the remaining bottles. Sourced from 100 year old vineyards in the northeastern hillside vineyards above Napa and from Calistoga this wine is blended with a token amount of Zinfandel, Grenache and Mourvedre. Unlike some of the bold and overly dramatic styles from other producers, the 2009 Girard Petite Sirah is accessible and sensuous in its presentation. The appearance is dark and dense but there is an underlying elegance that is graced with supple sweet fruit. Mulberry, black licorice and savory spices along with a touch of white pepper are wrapped in a creamy core that follows through with a nicely tapered finish.

Suggested Retail: $ 29.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.