Danville Express

Living - August 24, 2007

The Wine Guy: 2005 Vinum Cellars 'Pets' Petite Sirah Wilson Vineyards, Clarksburg BevMo! - Danville, $11.99; Lunardi's - Danville, $13.99

by Gregory Peebles

Spill this wine on your favorite white sundress or Tommy Bahama shirt? If so, you must hope the dry cleaner is a magician or you'll be saying "so long" to the garment. The purple-black color is totally opaque. Wow! Remember, swirl carefully.

Aromas are reminiscent of blackberry jam and bushels of fresh raspberries. Olfactory senses are further intrigued by hints of violet, lead pencil, white pepper and bramble. Again, wow!

It's a medium bodied wine which possesses bright, tart blueberry and cassis flavors. The silky texture is wonderful. Unfortunately, this vintage is short on both complexity and typical Petite Sirah intensity after the initial rush of dark fruit.

"Pets" jumps back on track with a relatively lengthy finish. It definitely reminds me of the delicious berry cobbler served at the Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas.

On the topic of BBQ, Petite Sirah is terrific with sausage, tri-tip, brisket or any red meat prepared over an open flame. For my vegetarian readers, pour a glass and enjoy it with a thick, 3-alarm, black bean chili.

Even though this wine will probably not provide the body or breadth and intensity of flavors coveted by most long-time fans of Petite Sirah, it could be a very good introduction to the varietal for novices. As always, trust your palate to be the final judge.

Have comments or questions about wine? Gregory Peebles, wine industry professional and East Bay resident, can be contacted at caledoniawine@sbcglobal.net.

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