At about $12 on the shelves of local big box stores, the 2009 Concannon "Conservancy" Petite Sirah has got to be rated a best buy, especially for those seeking a fully credentialed red to accompany casual summery fare like barbecue, cheeseburgers and steaks hot off the grill.
This Central Coast California wine is made from grapes grown on conservancy lands, vineyards that have entered into a binding trust to ensure that the land will never be turned into subdivisions or strip malls, helping to guarantee a future for the state's admirable winegrowing tradition. What a fine idea.
Overall, this fully realized petite sirah is silky smooth, juicy and mouth filling. It opens with lush aromas of dark berries spiked with black pepper. On the tongue, ripe blackberry, black cherry and black currant make themselves known through a mid palate fragrant with warm spice notes. It finishes up as it begins, friendly, supple and touched with a light kiss of black tea at the finale.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.