De Bortoli “dB” Petite Sirah

November 18, 2005

I picked up a bottle of the De Bortoli “dB” Petite Syrah at my local Liquor Mart last night. For $10.99 plus tax, you’ll find a beautiful (and very well-priced) wine. Lots of ripe red fruit on the nose, with a strong hint of chocolate in the background. Taste-wise, the fruit gives way to the chocolate, which is balanced out by some spices and lots of oaky tannins. And it’s all topped off with a long, smooth finish. I’m going back today to pick up a few more bottles to set aside.

Very tasty and highly recommended. I served it with a home-made veggie pizza (DeLuca’s sells balls of ready-made pizza dough for $1.39), and the wine fared well against the hot peppers, capers and wine-defying artichoke hearts.

I didn’t realize Australia was doing much with Petite Sirah (a.k.a Durif). I had always thought that export production was limited to California, and I’m not sure if the Australians got their rootstock from France or (more likely) from California. Regardless of where it comes from, this is a tasty wine, a great value and a nice change from the usual suspects (Cabernet/Shiraz/Merlot) that we find from Australia.



  1. Funny – I always think of De Bortoli for 2L party wine – the red box Shiraz is tasty. And when I think of PS I always think of Concannon – very yummy when you can find it.

    Maybe you can check something out – I thought DNA testing at UC Davis had shown that Durif & PS are not the same grape?

  2. Hmmm…I haven’t followed the Durif debate, now I’m curious. I remember that DeBortoli used to make a Durif – now they only seem to have a Petite Sirah. I’ll look into this.

    And the Concannon is very tasty indeed. Some of the Ridge wines contain a lot of Petite Sirah, but they pack a punch on your wallet.

  3. As always, Jancis has the answer. I found her comments on the origins of PS on this site: http://wineloverspage.com/bucko/bucko1105.phtml

    (how does one do HTML tags in blogger comments anyways???).

    Apparently it’s a cross between Syrah and Peloursin (and don’t ask me what Peloursin is – it sounds painful!).

  4. Thanks,

    I did some digging after looking at Jancis’ answer. Winepros states that Durif & PS are the same, however 10% of PS in California is Peloursin. PS was also enhanced with ‘field blending’ with other varieties.

    Peloursin is an obscure South France grape varietal, some plantings exist in California, Argentina & Australia – I’ve never seen a 100% Peloursin. Would anybody buy it? It does sounds like some horrible, painful disease you could catch from dirty water.

    Ridge – It can break the bank account, unless…I saw it on sale last year at one of the local wine shops. Such a good sale I bought a few.

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