2005 Concannon Petite Sirah Limited Release
Out at the local grocery store last week, I started looking for some inexpensive Petite Sirah that might be good for everyday drinking. Most grocery stores are now expanding their wine selection and I’m impressed with the quality and types of wine now sold just a few aisles over from the bread and milk. There were some old standbys available but I felt like trying something new. That’s when I spied the bottle of 2005 Concannon Petite Sirah. The bottle itself is pretty impressive. It’s a large heavy bottle with a depiction of their front gate embossed on the glass sort of like CdP bottles. It’s the kind of bottle I normally find filled with $40 or $50 wines, not a $12 grocery store wine.
Concannon Vineyard is located in Livermore, California. I’ve been to Livermore and it’s as far east from the Bay Area as Sonoma is north. It’s not someplace I would expect to find a winery, but according to their label, they bottled the world’s first Petite Sirah over 40 years ago and they’ve been around since 1883. With all that on the label, it sets some pretty high expectations…well, as high as I would have for any $12 bottle of wine, I suppose. I was pleasantly surprised how good it turned out to be.
It has a dark purple color and will benefit from decanting. After about 2 hours it really opened up with pleasing aromas of cherry and blueberry laced with some tobacco. I got an explosion of black fruit on the palate followed by a little leather and black pepper. It has a nice balance of acidity and well rounded tannins. With a relatively low alcohol content of 13.5%, I noticed just a bit of warmth in the medium length finish. I drank this with leftover Chinese food the first night and it paired surprisingly well. I think the fruitiness helped along the fact that the Chinese food wasn’t spicy. Otherwise, the warmth I felt would have exacerbated the heat from the spices. The second night, I had this wine with fresh pita bread and hummus and it was excellent.
All in all, the Concannon is not a very complex wine and may improve with age, but it is easy to drink now and has an excellent quality to price ratio. I just wonder how they’re making money when the bottles appear so expensive.