Tenbrink 2016 Petite Sirah – Bold, Brawny and Yet Graceful

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Did a story on Tenbrink and Tolenas wines earlier this month but did not review their Tenbrink 2016 Petite Sirah. (https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2020/01/09/tenbrink-vineyards-and-tolenas-winery-a-family-story/). Steve Tenbrink gave me a bottle after I had purchased on the spot 6 bottles of their Chardonnay. I put it in the cellar waiting for the right time and food pairing.


Last night at our informal “Friday Wine & Dine” group dinner at Copper Valley Grille, consisting of good friends, fellow wine drinkers who all are Wine Society members, I ordered the Flat Iron Steak thinking this would be a solid pairing. The Flat Iron Steak was grilled medium rare, with whiskey peppercorn sauce, roasted baby red potatoes and spaghetti squash. The wine was opened up about one hour before the meal.

The wine was an intense deep red almost “black coloration” when being poured. It possessed a heavy body and viscosity. The senses were on overload on the first smell and taste with flavors of blueberry, cocoa, black pepper and a slight smell of sweet pipe tobacco. This was no ordinary Petite Sirah in the glass was the consensus of the group! The consumption of the wine with the steak proved excellent and exquisite. One of the folks at dinner had grilled pork tenderloin with fig glaze, bacon , onion compote and sweet corn puree and it even tasted better with a piece I was given! I have had the opportunity to try many, many Petite Sirah’s and this one received my highest praises and score. At the table we had another Petite Sirah but in comparison it was like a watered down version! The finish was exceptional with a long finish with bold fruits and flavors and strong tannins.

As an educational note, Petite Sirah is not a “smaller” version of Syrah as it is a wholly different varietal. The background on Petite Sirah is that it is the offspring of Syrah and Peloursin (a scarce and almost extinct grape).

Since it is getting to the end or football season, the analogy of this Petite Sirah reminds me of a 260 pound linebacker with brawn and strength, yet nimble like a Heisman Trophy running back with the ability to maneuver around the food and impart such wondrous fruit profiles. This wine became an instant legend from Suisun Valley and scored touchdowns with all the fans participating in dinner last night! This sells for $60 and is a gem.







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