Profile: Concannon is considered an American wine pioneer. The family-owned venture, which first planted vines in the late 1800s, made history by growing California's first Bordeaux varietals. In 1950, it made history again by hiring the state's first female winemaker, then introduced America's first Petite Sirah eleven years later. Today, with four generations of Concannons working, the winery produces several critically acclaimed Petite Sirahs, including Captain Joe's.
2008 Captain Joe's Petite Sirah Varietal/Style: Petite Sirah
Origin: Livermore Valley, CA Vintage: 2008 Winemaker: Julian Halasz Rating:13.5/20 Retail Price: $30
On the nose, this limited production wine affectionately named for founder James Concannon's son offers blackberry and black cherry fruit with enticing notes of bramble and clove. On the palate, there are sweet fruit flavors up front with bramble and other earthy notes introduced on the mid and back. The wine lingers with hints of baking spice. A big, bold wine for the price, it is a good choice for an evening by the barbeque. Its ripe fruit, good acidity and earthy finish would harmonize with any char-grilled meat. The wine's sweetness would help it carry through with a berry-based dessert. Or try it with pepper-crusted tuna, grilled portabello mushrooms or pasta Puttanesca.