No, Petite Sirah, or Petite Syrah is not Syrah. Initially Petite Sirah was thought to be related to Syrah, but through DNA testing it is actually related to a now almost extinct grape variety, Durif. But to further complicate matters Durif was found to be a cross between Syrah and a variety called Peloursin. So, it is a confused grape that makes up for its muddled heritage with outstanding characteristics.
Grown mainly in California, Petite Sirah grapes produce deep-coloured, robust, peppery with plenty of tannic punch. The petite in Petite Sirah refers to the small grape size of the variety. The high skin to grape ratio is what produces the powerful punch of Petite Sirah wines. It is also a dark wine. It is often blended with another infamous California grape, Zinfandel. It is this pairing that Winexpert is offering in their February Limited Edition Petite Sirah/Zinfandel.