‘Good Value Bet for Summer Cookouts’

‘Good Value Bet for Summer Cookouts’

Chunky, rounded Petite Sirah from San Francisco Bay

SHARE

Concannon Vineyard was built in 1883 in the Livermore Valley, east of San Francisco Bay. Life and grape growing was simpler then. But Petite Sirah was always a dark, brooding grape used to blend into everyday table wines. Third-generation owner Jim Concannon began bottling Petite Sirah as a standalone wine in 1961 – and the beat, even though the winery has been sold numerous times in recent years, goes on. Although some of Concannon’s greatest old vines were dug up to plant more “fashionable” varieties — the 1978 Estate bottling still remains in my “favorites” category — today’s wines are always easy to understand, richly grapey and a good value bet for your summer cookouts. I like it served a bit cool.

2014 Concannon Vineyard Petite Sirah, San Francisco Bay $13-20 srp

Opaque purple color that lightens with more than three years in the bottle. A nose of crushed boysenberry, mulberry and cherry compote. Aeration reveals a smoky, graphite-laden and almost brown sugar-ish feeling. The mouth texture is juicy, full-flavored but surprisingly lithe, soft and supple. Blackberry, cherry and chocolatey elements prevail with good acidity to temper and refresh. Short-term cellaring will only improve its integrity. Much fun to drink, try with ham, Carolina barbecue or spicy brats. (90% Petite Sirah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) Drink now-2021.

88/100 points

SHARE
Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.