Red, White, and Blue Fin

Happy Independence Day to all my blogging friends in the U.S.!

July 4th is always a big to-do in my area.  All-day free public concerts, folks setting up picnic celebrations in the park early to get the best view of the really big fireworks show just after dark, and that awesome fireworks display.

I’ve done my share of time in our Independence Day mosh pit.  I loved it and even took my kids into the fray when they were young.  One year we were maybe a bit too close to the firworks, and my oldest son got a little scared because they were so loud.  In the last couple of years, however, I’ve taken an overnight bike ride with my sweetheart – escaping the city but still tuning in for coverage of the festivities in the evening with a glass of vino in hand for a quiet celebration.

This year we’ve had to reschedule the biking due to circumstances beyond our control.  Much to our disappointment.  So instead, we’re opting for a an early dinner of burgers and a quick dash to a nearby high point where we will have a good view of all the excitement – from a distance.  We thought it fitting to choose an inexpensive American wine to accompany our Independence Day repast.

Winemaker:  Blue Fin
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Vintage:  2012
Appellation: California
Price: $4.99 at Trader Joe’s

Notes:  Color on this one was a dark red/purple.  On the nose I smelled berries, oak, balsamic vinegar and a hint of caramel.  Acidity was good, tannins were gentle, and alcohol was at 12.5%.  On the tongue I caught flavors I of plum, berries, oak, quinine, touches of tar and ash as well a green herbal notes.  Not too bad for five bucks!  It may be missing some structure and finesse, but it definitely had a more complex flavor profile than I was expecting at this price.

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Concannon Conservancy Petite Sirah 2012

I’m beginning to really dig the Petite Sirahs I’m tasting that are coming out of California.  Seriously.  I had the Concannon Selected Vineyards Petite Sirah several months ago.  I liked that one enough that I classified it as a “sipper.”  That means I’d be willing to swig it without any accompanying food and just enjoy the wine for the wine’s sake.  So when I saw what looked like their next level PS, I was more than happy to give it a try.

Winemaker:  Concannon
Wine: Conservancy Petite Sirah
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Vintage:  2012
Appellation: Livermore Valley, California
Price: $15.99

Notes:  Color on this Petite Sirah was a dark purple.  On the nose I smelled vibrant berries, earth, a touch of mushroom along with a metallic mineral note.  Acidity was high, tannins were medium, and alcohol was at 13.5%.  I’d say the body was medium-light.  Core flavors I found were blueberry, dark raspberry, some pepper, oak, a hint of cinnamon, ash and tea.   I liked this one quite a bit.  I took another bottle to a dinner party where a few of my friends absconded with it for their own enjoyment, leaving me to drink a Bordeaux someone else had contributed to the evening.  I guess they enjoyed this Petite Sirah, too!

Concannon Petite Sirah 2012

Ever since my Xmas Eve experience with a Petite Sirah (Parducci Petite Sirah 2010), I’ve been keeping my eye peeled for that varietal in the wine retailers I frequent.  I have to say there aren’t that many.  Even so, I recently ran across this inexpensive offering from Concannon and grabbed a bottle.  Better yet, it was on sale at $6.64.

Winemaker:  Concannon
Wine: Selected Vineyards Petite Sirah
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Vintage:  2012
Appellation: California
Price: $9.49

Notes:  Color on this Petite Sirah was a dark ruby.  On the nose I smelled pepper, dark raspberry, earth and menthol.  Acidity was good, tannins were medium, and alcohol was at 13.5%.  The wine had a bit of weight on the palate, so I’d say the body was medium-light.  Core flavors I found were currant, green herbs, pepper, and oak while the finish was moderately lengthy with pepper, herbs and dark raspberry.   I was quite happy with this purchase.  What would I pair it with?  Well, for me this is one for sipping all by it’s lonesome.  Of course, it has the structure and flavor profile to stand up to a meal.  In case you’re interested, this was purchased at my local Safeway.  If it sounds good to you, maybe it’ll be on sale at your area Safeway, too!