The Michael and David Petite Petit 2015 is 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot sourced from vineyards in the Lodi AVA (south and east of Napa) in California’s Central Valley. Michael and David are the Phillips brothers, their family have been fruit and vegetable growers in Lodi since the 1850s and have farmed grapes for over 100 years. They are 5th generation grape growers and the 6th generation also works at the winery. Since over 75% of this blend is Petite Sirah they are allowed to call this a single varietal wine and not reference the Petit Verdot, but what fun is that? Petite Sirah is a French hybrid grape, a cross between Syrah and a now obscure almost extinct grape, that was designed to combat a disease problem they were then having with Syrah grapes. Petite Sirah never caught on in France and while it is grown in several wine regions of the world it is mainly grown in California and especially in Lodi. Petit Sirah is the secret weapon in many California Red blends and has become increasingly popular as a single variety wine. The Petite Sirah name comes from the fact that the berries are a little smaller than Syrah berries. Petit Verdot (names means little green) is one of the 6 approved grapes for Bordeaux Red blends. The problem the French have with Petit Verdot is that the grape has one of the longest growing periods and in cool years it sometimes never fully ripens, hence it still a little green. A little Petit Verdot goes along way, it does not take much of a blend percentage to add rich color, strong tannins, a floral nose, and interesting flavors. The climate in Lodi is not the same as Bordeaux, Lodi has hot days and cool nights and early mornings, intense growing and ripening during the day then relaxing at night, which is the right formula for growing these grapes. Petit Verdot has no problem getting ripe in Lodi.This wine is aged for 13 months in French oak barrels and the alcohol content is a ripe 14.5%.
The color is an opaque, almost black Burgundy red. The nose is mix of oak spice, dark berries, a whiff of smoke, fudge brownies. black cherry, flowers, cooking pork roast, and vanilla bean.This wine has a full mouthfeel and shows excellent balance for a bold wine. It starts with ripe blackberry, chocolate, black pepper (mild), exotic spice, and plum. The mid-pale adds cherry, a slight tug from the tannins, a touch of mineralogy, and a final blast of tart cranberry. The tannins are well represented but they do not bite, you can sense them (that is a good thing), but they don’t get in the way. The acidity is well balance by the body of the wine. The finish is full (like the body of the wine) and stays for a while.
The Michael and David Petite Petit 2015 is really good wine, there is a lot going on in your glass, but it is really well sorted out. These 2 grapes have a great deal of flavor and a ton of tannins and can be a little hairy and over the top, but Michael and David have cracked the whip and tamed these grapes into a delicious, classy combo. I am impressed.