The Michael and David Petite Petit 2019 is 85% Petite Sirah, and 15% Petit Verdot sourced from vineyards in the Lodi AVA of California. This is technically a Petite Sirah single varietal wine since more than 75% of this wine is Petite Sirah. But the Petite Petit name is more fun.
Michael and David Phillips are brothers and 5th generation grape growers whose family has farmed in Lodi since the 1850s. They were voted the 2020 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. They have an excellent portfolio of Lodi wines (Freakshow and Earthquake wines), all of which have interesting labeling and packaging.
The blend of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot grapes in Michael and David Petite Petit 2019 is nontraditional, and the two grapes have very different backgrounds and seldom meet.
The Petite Sirah grape is a product of all the turmoil and chaos that struck French vineyards in the middle 1800s. Disease and pests devastated entire grape vintages. Harvest became so uncertain that French winemakers went to Rioja in Spain, which was not having the same issues. Rioja, at the time, was making wine for locals but had potential.
The Rioja vineyards were upgraded, along with production techniques, and Rioja continues to be a premier growing region. That is how bad things were in the French vineyards, that they had to go to Spain to keep a quality supply of wine on hand.
In the Rhone Valley of France, the Syrah grape was under duress from disease in the vineyards. A man named Durif decided to cross the Syrah grape with a little-used but hearty, healthy grape. After several vintages, he perfected his Syrah substitute named Petite Sirah (also called Durif in Australia) just in time for the Syrah vineyard issues to clear up. Petite Sirah was no longer needed. The grapes looked like Syrah grapes but were smaller.
Petit Verdot is one of the approved grapes to be included in Bordeaux Red blends. This is used as a blending grape, and often the wine will include only 2% or 3% of Petit Verdot. Its name Petit Verdot gives clues as to why such a small percentage is used. The name Petit Verdot translates to Little Green, and it is a Red grape.
Petit Verdot has such a long growing season that it often does not ripen for harvest and only limited amounts are available for blending for Bordeaux wines. Petit Verdot has no trouble reaching maturity in Lodi, California, and the warmer temperatures and the plentiful sunlight agree with the grape.
The Michael and David Petite Petit 2019 is a blend of a grape that is a solution to a problem that no longer exists and a grape that takes on a new character when grown in California. They are two grapes that do not typically go together, but their names do go together, so why not see what happens?
While this may seem like a fun winemaking exercise, the Michael and David Petite Petit 2019 was expertly made. This wine was aged for 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 20% new barrels. You see a certain percentage of the wine in new oak because new oak barrels give off more influence than barrels that have been used a time or two.
The winemaker carefully calculates the proper selection of new and used barrels to achieve oak flavoring and the aging time frame. A wine aged in 100% new oak barrels will take a long time to achieve balance, and the right percentage is necessary. The alcohol content is 14.5%.
Michael and David Petite Petit 2019 Tasting Notes
The color is barely see-thru scarlet red with black highlights. The nose is dark and smokey; scents of blackberry, dark chocolate, rich spice, coffee, vanilla, and ripe plum. The Michael and David Petite Petit 2019 is a rich, spicy, full-flavored wine.
It tastes like extracted blackberry, licorice, black pepper, sweet raspberry, and exotic spice. The mid-palate brings tart cranberry, sharp spice, a slight pull from the tannins, and a late hit of ripe blueberry—this is a wine with good weight and depth.
- The Michael and David Petite Petit 2019 sells for under twenty bucks, it lists for $18 and I found it on sale for $13, but it drinks like Red wine in the $20 to $35 range.
- The 2018 vintage received 93 points by a leading wine magazine and the 2019 vintage is drinking very well.
- Clever name, fun label, excellent wine.