Thursday, December 23, 2010


Line 39 Petite Sirah North Coast 2009

The number on the Line 39 label refers to the degrees of latitude where their Lake County vineyards are located, just north and east of Napa Valley, where it’s said they make some decent wine, too.  The 39th parallel also includes the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, Portugal and Italy.  Maybe advertising a good neighborhood like that isn’t too bad an idea.  Line 39 is a sublabel of Cecchetti Wine Co.

I have tasted Line 39’s Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a surprisingly good wine.  The winery’s Petite Sirah - which I stumbled across in a supermarket wine section - is made from grapes sourced in Mendocino County’s North Coast area.  The wine was a real bargain - marked down from $13 to $8.  The alcohol level is 13.5% abv.

The color of this Petite Sirah is deep and dark, inky dark, can’t see through it dark.  A very darkly tinted appearance tends to bode well for those who like big, bold flavors, as I do.  The nose is rich with blueberry, and it smells dark, too.  All this has me salivating as I anticipate the palate. 

What I find when I finally taste the wine is a rich and jammy basket of blackberry and cherry with a lot of tannins, but they certainly don’t seem out of place. It’s a dry wine, dry as dust.  “So dry, the rest room would have dust in the urinals,” as the old martini joke goes.

The dust, in addition to being very dry, is very dark, too.  A deliciously brambly taste appears as the wine opens itself and tar notes show up on the nose.  This wine is a complete delight.

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