PS WE Love You (and Concannon too!)

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

PS I Love You: Petite Sirah Symposium 7/26

As much as I am enjoying my NW road trip tasting and exploring and learning about NW wines in Idaho and Washington, I can’t stay here in Walla Walla any longer than today because I want to spend a few days in Willamette Valley before I zoom down to the Bay Area for the Petite Sirah symposium next Tuesday  June 26. I’ve also been invited to  the Jim Concannon Tribute Dinner the previous night which kicks off the Ninth Annual Petite Sirah Symposium at Concannon Vineyard. It’s also Jim Concannon’s 80th birthday,  so we’ll be celebrating 50 years of Petite Sirah and 80 years of life of this amazing thought leader in wine. (Photo montage by Jo Diaz).

According to this blog post “Concannon Is Pulling Out All of the Stops For Petite Sirah’s 50th Anniversary” by Jo Diaz:

It was Jim Concannon who was the first to embrace Petite Sirah as a variety, taking it from the obscurity of its hearty Burgundy days, and recognizing it as more than a simple blending grape. It was he who first labeled Petite Sirah as such in 1964 with a 1961 vintage.

Jim Concannon

Seven O’Clock
The Arbor
Concannon Vineyard
4590 Tesla Road
Livermore, CA 94550

 Media Luncheon & Tasting of Petite Sirahs

Celebrate 50 years

Following the Ninth Annual Petite Sirah Symposium
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Lunch ~ 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Media Tasting ~ 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Arbor
Concannon Vineyard
4590 Tesla Road
Livermore, CA 94550

Learn more about Petite Sirah and PS I Love You, an industry advocacy group which also organizes “Dark &  Delicious” each February. This consumer tasting event introduces many to the delights of this definitely dark varietal paired with various tasty and delicious bites, many featuring pork!

Thanks to Jo Diaz of Diaz Communications and Wine Blog Org “Juicy Tales” for the invitation! I am very excited to be able to attend the event this year!

Check out her blog post Concannon Is Pulling Out All of the Stops For Petite Sirah’s 50th Anniversary to see a list of all the wineries involved as well as the wine bloggers and other media folks in attendance and you’ll see why this is a MUST attend event for Petite Sirah lovers, advocates, and wine media!

PS Sorry if you read this before I made all the Petit Sirahs into Petite Sirahs! I think I caught them all now! Please email if you ever see an egregious error! (Compliments and samples are nice too!)