Cats, bats & dawn Durif 2009, Red Heads Studios, McLaren Vale, Australia

Drunk September 2013

An interesting wine from the Red Heads Studios folks at McLaren Vale in Australia. Unusual that it is made with Durif or also known as Petite Sirah.

Durif is a variety of red wine grape primarily grown in Australia, California, France, and Israel. Since the end of the 20th century, wineries located in Washington's Yakima River Valley, Maryland, Arizona, West Virginia, Chile, Mexico's Baja Peninsula, and Ontario's Niagara Peninsula have also produced wines from Durif grapes. It is the main grape known in the U.S. and Israel as Petite Sirah, with over 90% of the California plantings labeled "Petite Sirah" being Durif grapes; the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recognizes "Durif" and "Petite Sirah" as interchangeable synonyms referring to the same grape.

It produces tannic wines with a spicy, plummy flavour. The grape originated as a cross of Syrah pollen germinating a Peloursin plant. On some occasions, Peloursin and Syrah vines may be called Petite Sirah, usually because the varieties are

The wine

This is the first time I have sampled a 100% Durif wine. Though I am a great fan of the work of the Red Heads team, notably Pieri Azzardo, this wine does not work for me.  http://fermented-grape.squarespace.com/wines-i-am-drinking/2012/6/8/pieri-azzardo-2009-shiraz-mclaren-vale-australia.html

I found myself hit by heavyweight tannins, lack of acidity to balance it and a very poor finish. The wine may be a deep purple as it pours into the glass, but I was loathed to pour another one. I can understand why Durif wines are often blended with Syrah and other grapes to take the edge off it. Not one for me unfortunately!