WBW #40 – 2004 Carmen Reserve Petite Sirah, Valle del Maipo

12112007.jpgEven though I’ve been writing this site for over 2 years, I’ve never taken part in Wine Blogging Wednesday. So, when I read that Petite Sirah was the focus of WBW #40, I decided to finally bite the bullet… Thing is, I’ve always had a soft spot for Petite Sirah. It’s often used as a blending grape in many of my favourite Zinfandels and blends to add colour and depth and can occasionally be outstanding on its own. A couple of the best I’ve had were on visits to Napa at Ridge Vineyards in Sonoma and at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (when they were still making their delicious take on the grape). In other parts of the world, it’s also known as the Durif grape.

A while back, I reviewed the tasty Concannon Petite Sirah, but haven’t had a 100% version of the wine since… Well, WBW #40 made me change that… and I’m all for change when it comes to what I’m tasting. 🙂

12112007a.jpgI wandered into a downtown specialty LDB store today, briefly considered the 2004 Stag’s Leap Winery Petite Sirah (not to be confused with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars), but was looking for something more in the $20 – 40 CDN range. I settled on the 2004 Carmen Reserve Petite Sirah, took it home opened it, gave it a few hours to breathe… and now I’m sipping.

It’s a 100% Petite Sirah from the Maipo Valley region of Chile. In the glass it’s an inky purple-red, with a nose that smells like it looks. For lack of a better word, it smells “purple” – there’s licorice, violets, dark berries, dark chocolate and a distinct vanilla edge from the new French oak barrels in which the wine was aged. A big ‘ol sip gives up juicy licorice-edged dark berries, that dark chocolate and a distinctly spicy and vanilla-edged finish. It’s carrying 14% booze, but does so nicely… there’s no “hot” edge to the wine.

I really like this wine. It doesn’t blow my mind, but it’s a bloody tasty drop for the moolah. My usual judgment is whether I’d buy a wine again… and yep, I would.

OK, so I might be posting a few hours early (on the West coast), but it’s already Wednesday in many places. 🙂

$29 at LDB stores here in BC.

4 stars