The other day my father served a varietally-labelled Durif from Australia, which in itself is unusual enough to make me sit up and take notice. It was a lovely wine, and confirmed for me the greatness of this grape. I’d previously had a big, bold, brassy and brilliant EOS Reserve Petite Sirah from the Wine Society (no longer on its list, sadly) – Petite Sirah and Durif are one and the same. Apparently it’s a bit of a bugger to grow in hot areas, because the berries are so big they all squash together on the vine, creating moist dark little grapey hotspots that mould just loves getting into. But it’s certainly worth your while if you can manage it. It’s a shame it’s such an obscure wine: the Wine Society now has no Durif on its list at all, neither does Majestic or Berry Bros, while Oddbins has one Petit Sirah. Surely there’s got to be space on our shelves for a bit more of this stuff?
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