2013 Bea’s Knees Petite Sirah, Oberti Vineyard, Suisun Valley, California
Petite Sirah thrives in Suisun Valley, and will probably emerge as its signature varietal. Everything we love about Petite Sirah is abundant in the Oberti Vineyard grapes-rich, densely concentrated flavors, intense color and tannins that are formidable but not forbidding. Our 2013 Bea’s Knees Petite Sirah is richly flavored, with aromas of blackberry, blueberry, and dark chocolate-covered cherries, along with hints of baking spices. On the palate it is rich, dense, and long, with firm but not overbearing tannins.
Husband and wife team Matt Reid and Marcy Webb conceived The People’s Wine Revolution to bring great wines to all at reasonable prices. Our goal is to make wines every bit as good as those we made for our day jobs, but at a fraction of the price. PWR is now our full-time pursuit.
Matt completed the UC-Davis Viticulture & Enology M.S. program in 2003. He has been the winemaker at Seavey Vineyard and Quixote Winery, and the Custom Crush Winemaker at Failla Wines. He is currently winemaker for Benessere Vineyards and Consulting Winemaker for Burgess Cellars.
Marcy’s background is public health (epidemiology), but her quick, scientific mind has led to positions at The Napa Wine Company, Franciscan and Chalk Hill. She is the assistant winemaker for Ballentine Vineyards.
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We bought this last year, and so far have consumed two bottles. We found it to be a decent sipping wine, but it clashed horribly with the foods we tried it with. My aunt insisted there was something wrong with the bottle, which confused me because I didn’t think there was anything objectionable about it. Then I started eating the same hors d’oeuvres, and realized what the issue was. I’ve had other wines in the past that didn’t pair well with a variety of foods, but nothing as dramatically as this one.
Unfortunately, most of our wine consumption coincides with meals, so we have been reluctant to open the remaining bottles.
Apologies for the lack of detail in my initial comment.
It was several months ago, and I can’t remember exactly what it was we were eating. It was cured meats and cheeses, savory snack foods, etc. I do recall trying a few different items and having the wine taste overly tannic and astringent in combination with the foods.
I know the perceived strength of tannins depends heavily on the interaction of wine with certain kinds of proteins, and I strongly suspect that was the issue. But where these interactions usually result in subtle or modest differences in the taste of most other wines I’ve tried, the difference between sampling this wine with foods vs tasting it with a cleansed/neutral palate was dramatic.
For background, I should say that I much prefer dry reds with some tannin over any other kinds of wine. I like a variety of Tannats, for example, which many people find too tannic. The PWR PS tasted just fine to me when not paired with food. But at least with the foods we had that day, it seemed unpleasantly tannic to the point of astringency.
I hope by clarifying my impressions this way I have given the wine a fair shake. Others may have a different opinion, but if they sample the wine and find it too tannic, they may want to try it with a clean palate and see if it improves for them.
@moondigger Thanks for the enhanced detail. I am still surprised to hear that. As you know, Petite Sirah is a very tannic variety, but I think that on the spectrum of Petite Sirahs out there, this one is at the more moderate end. I’m not disputing your experience; I am merely puzzled by it. Thanks again.
We opened another bottle of this yesterday. At first we just sipped sans food, but after a half glass I thought I should try it with some food pairings again. We had some sharp cheddar cheese, some mozzarella, and some pepperoni.
None of them caused the same dramatic negative reaction that the previous bottles/pairings did. That’s not to say it was a ‘magic’ pairing, but the shift in flavor/tannin strength was much less pronounced. I don’t know what the difference is. It could be the particular foods, or it could be the wines. Maybe they needed a little more time in the bottle? I have no idea.
@moondigger Thanks for circling back. I’m glad it worked better for you this time, even if you weren’t in love. It is a puzzling case. I have found very little bottle variation with any of our wines. Thanks again.
I enjoyed this. I often open a bottle when my roommates want wine. I didn’t have any problem having it with food, particularly. The low acidity makes it an easy drinker, however, that same low acidity makes it fade into the background a bit when had with a meal. But I didn’t think it clashes with food, particularly
I like their wines. I have just a few left from the mixed case offering but I’m going to take this opportunity to stock up on the PS. These wines are for people “on the go”…very tasty and with those colourful labels they’re great for parties and the Stelvin closures make it easy to open when you’re out 'n about…but not necessarily driving. Right? Thanks PWR and WD.
@KNmeh7 I do think Suisun Valley is a great place for Petite Sirah, and it may help to rally around a single variety, but many others do well there, too. As for the TM, I wonder if it’s even real. Yeah, backside is maybe a little funny, if coarse, but I think it’s a mistake to define a region as NOT being another region.
I bought this first on WW, then split a case here in March & got a mixed case in July which I’ve barely touched so I’m going to sit this one out. I like this wine and the other PWR wines I’ve had a lot and would be buying more if I wasn’t over stocked!
I’ve been enjoying the “qpr” blend quite a bit. I’m overloaded on wine for now, but hope this comes around again. PS is usually too tannic for me, but this sounds more my style and sounds like this still has all the big flavors of a usual PS. I would pop one open with a pot roast or beef stew
Here’s a picture of Gary Mangels, who farms the Oberti Vineyard, source of the grapes for this wine. He’s a great guy and a great grower.
By the way, he also farms his own Mangels Vineyards, where he grows Grenache, among other varieties. We got long-awaited access to this fruit in 2017. This spring we will be releasing a Rosé of Grenache, but only to members of our wine club. Once you have given this Petite a try, please consider joining our club. We would love to have you!
The prices on these are sooo good. I loved the blend and the zin from the last offering. I mean for $10 im not going to find anything local close to that good. I’m not a fan of PS by itself so I’ll wait this one out. Super nice and interested winemaker though. Quality wines.