June 4, 2008

Wednesday's Wine - Crane Lake Cellars Petite Sirah, 2005

So, I had this really lovely red wine last week, but uh, before I knew it, it was gone and I hadn't taken any notes for you. Guess I'll just have to buy another bottle of it and be a bit more diligent in my note taking. Fortunately, I have a small (counter top cellar) collection and I opened a good standby to go with my yummy steak...I mean...to share with you...

My guys, Joe and Bob, at 3 S Liquors bought a HUGE amount of Crane Lakes wine last fall. They're selling it at $4.00 a bottle. It's like Two Buck Chuck with shipping costs. Petite Sirah is a grape generally blended into other wines to add some body and fruit notes, especially when a specific grape had a bad year. But hey, Petite Sirah can stand alone as well. I haven't had a really expensive one, so I'm not sure if Crane Lakes Cellar's version is good or bad or mediocre. However, judging bu the lack of information beyond where to buy it, I'm thinking it's not considered that great. That said, I think it's pretty good as a general red wine. It's not overly dry, it has some nice fruit flavors (kind of a berry flavor, but not tart berries). It went well with my steak. I've bought it several times and had it with Italian food and with pork. I like it best with a juicy steak though (PETA folks don't hate me please...I have food allergies). Besides, even if I wasn't allergic to soy products and beans in general, I don't think this wine would make soy burgers taste good.

So what IS Petite Sirah. Some folks think it's like a small Shiraz. But not really. Here's some information I found at cellartracker.com :

The grape originated as a cross of Syrah pollen germinating a Peloursin plant. On some occasions, Peloursin and Syrah vines may be called Petite Sirah, usually because the varieties are extremely difficult to distinguish in old age. The 'petite' in the name of this grape refers to the size of its berries and not the vine, which is particularly vigorous. The leaves are large with a bright green upper surface and paler green lower surface. The grape forms tightly packed clusters that can be susceptible to rotting in rainy environments. The small berries creates a high skin to juice ratio which can produce very tannic wines if the juice goes through an extended maceration period. In the presence of new oak barrels the wine can develop an aroma of melted chocolate. Petite Sirah produces dark, inky colored wines that are relatively acidic with firm texture and mouth feel. The bouquet has herbal and black pepper overtones, with plum and blackberry flavors on the palate. Compared to Syrah, the wine is noticeably more dark and purplish in color.

Yummy...melted chocolate. No wonder I like this very cheap wine that apparently is a mediocre representation of a Petite Sirah. But for four bucks, I'm okay with that!


Jdancer8 said...

i dont think i've ever seen a bottle of wine for four bucks unless it was boons farm hahaha....i need wine guys like you've got

TheWeyrd1 said...

j...for 4 bucks you can try a red and if you don't like it, you won't feel so bad about trying...lol

Brian said...

I been drinking Crane Lake wines(Shiraz 2006, Sauv Blanc 2006, Malbec 2005, Sangiovese 2005, Cab Sauv 2003 purchased for between $2 and $2.50 at various supermarkets)for the past three months. . .and, I have no complaints and find it compares favourably with wines costing two and three times as much. I have put away several bottles because I am curious to see what a few years might "do" to the wines.

It's "faults" are easily "covered" by drinking it with "ordinary" food(steaks, pizza, etc). . .and, at it's low price, it can be drunk every day with little impact on your wallet.

You will also not feel like you're "wasting" a wine if you drink it alone. . .which you might feel if you opened a more expensive wine which generally REQUIRES sharing with a friend or two.

By the way, I have also put away a couple of bottles of Two Buck Chuck for a future comparison tasting.

I am not much into wine-tasting terminology. . .I generally subscribe to the adage, "The BEST wine is the wine you like!"

So you can assign a "measure" of credibility to my comments and give you some idea of my own experience in "wining," I grew up within a stone's throw of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys and have been drinking GOOD wines for over 50 years. . .and, my cellar contains EVERYTHING from French Gran Cru to Ernie and Julio's finest box of "Tuesday's vintage!"

In short, Crane Lake wines are well worth the money!

TheWeyrd1 said...

Brian...thanks for your insightful comment and welcome to the world of blog...or at least blogger!

jackson said...

If you guys like Crane Lake I will give you a recommendation that will blow you away. Really, go try it before you dismiss it. It is Oak Leaf Cab. Sav. only found at Wal-Mart(don't laugh) for -------ready for this? $2.97 a bottle. Now believe it or not it is GOOD. Also their Pinot G for $2.97 is good as a $12 bottle of PG.

TheWeyrd1 said...

jackson...thanks for stopping by to comment! I'll check out your recommendations at Walmart...'cause ya know I do love a bargain!