Last year I had such a great time at PS I Love You’s Dark and Delicious event held at the Rosenblum’s Rock Wall Winery in Alameda tasting an amazing collection of Petite Sirahs paired with delectable bites from prestigious restaurants from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. A few wineries, like Twisted Oak, also shared verticals of their Petite Sirahs. It’s always fun and insightful to taste through the years of a particular varietal.
Of course that’s me with the purple teeth in this picture from last year’s event with my new friend Jerae-Ione Knutson aka Red Wine Girl and Thea Dwelle of the blog Luscious Lushes and on Twitter as WineBratSF. Oh, we ALL have purple teeth–that’s Petite Sirah for you!
Since this year I’m missing out on all the fun, fine wine, and tasty bites that’s going on tomorrow, I decided in honor of this year’s Dark and Delicious to open three wines from the original King of Petite Sirah, Concannon. The Concannons started farming, growing wine grapes, and making wine in the Livermore valley in 1883. Over 50 years ago, they started growing and making Petite Sirah as a single varietal. While most vintners use Petite Sirah as a blending grape, the Concannons believed in the varietal and bottled it alone to showcase its depth, color and richness. Jim Concannon, who I met at his big birthday shindig last summer (and where I tasted a TON of Petite Sirah! and more notes here), put Petite Sirah on the California map. As a tribute to his father, his son Jim, at the birthday bash, presented his father as well as the celebrants with his new blend, Crimson & Clover, which showcases Petite Sirah blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
Annie Any-Day, Bacchus Schmaccus, Marshall Moneybags and I gathered recently to enjoy a steak dinner and to taste the 2009 Crimson & Clover plus the 2007 and 2008 Conservancy Petite Sirahs, all media samples which retail at under $20 and with alcohols from 13.5-13.7%. We served seared steaks, baked potatoes, asparagas and thoroughly enjoyed the wines and the time.
The Crimson & Clover Concannon Conservancy 2009 is sweet to start with dryness on finish, black cherry fruit overtones, tannin skin nose, adequate balance with enough complexity to keep it interesting. Tasted with cheeses: good with brie and mushroom cheese, ok with italian truffle cheese, and GREAT with chocolate cheddar. The color of Draculas blood and reminiscent of gothic churches. “I want to drink your blood,” we teased.
We agreed that this Crimson & Clover red wine blend would be a great “gateway” red wine for the typical American white wine drinker. Continue reading