Posted by: tomciocco | April 27, 2010


Would that they were all like this one…I’ve never been a big fan of California wine, at least most of what’s been made over the last 15 to 20 years or so. All too often California wines are over-oaked, too alcoholic, and considering the freedom explicit as well as implicit in making wine in California rather than in a hidebound Old World appellation, ultimately unimaginative. Though I’m not old enough to know them first hand, it’s said that pre-1980s California bottlings were far more elegant, balanced, and terroir-driven than most of the wines made in Golden State today, but in the end, that’s a different post…

But  if balanced, food-friendly, just plain GOOD wines from California that are actually comfortable in their own skins are something more associated with the Nixon era , then this one’s indeed a throwback.  It’s 100% Petite Sirah, and other than Zinfandel, there’s no grape more Old Time Cali than that. And like I said, this a great little wine that seems really proud of where it’s from.  We popped this cork with cheeseburgers, fries and a mixed salad, and the ever-rugged and ready Petite Sirah nicely held its own under the gauntlet of beef, pickles, onions, fried potatoes, squirting tomatoes and special sauce…not an easy row to hoe for sure…


Very deep and saturated magenta color. Open and complex nose of cracked black pepper, black licorice, sap, and dark berries. The broad palate is sinewy and juicy, but well-balanced by an attractive plush texture. It’s packed with flavors of dried fruit, hibiscus water, and espresso. Finishes with a surprisingly poised, almost elegant complexity – not a common trait in a moderately priced Petite Sirah.


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