I’ve rated Concannon Conservancy Wines in the past and I’m particularly impressed with John Concannon’s fifth addition to his portfolio. Crimson and Clover is his first Petite Sirah blend sourced from 100% Livermore Valley grapes consisting of 50% Petite Sirah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah and 10% Zinfandel. I had the privilege to taste a pre-release bottle this past August and have to rate it A+! Crimson and Clover upholds the Concannon Winery history of world class Petite Sirahs while adding deep rich berry flavors and softness. Concannon describes the wine, “as having the aroma of currants, cloves and vanilla, the fruit flavors of black berry and a spicy soft and long finish.” In part, due to the varietal blend and 18 months of aging in French and American oak but more due to the depth and structure of Petite Sirah. Crimson and Clover is available nationally at a suggested retail of $15.00. I wouldn’t wait too long to purchase some. With only 10,000 cases produced and a noteworthy 90 points from Wine Lines and an 88 points from Wine Enthusiast, this ruby gem won’t last long on the shelves.
Another noteworthy late summer 2011 release is from our friends at Octavin Home Wine Bar. Octavin combines a 3 liter octagon shaped box, vacuum-packaging and special spot to prevent air from coming in contact with their wine. Once opened, their 21st Century packaging technology keeps their wine fresh for at least 6 weeks. Allowing you to enjoy some highly regarded artisanal wines, a glass or two a day, without being concerned about unfinished wine in glass bottles.
South African winemaker Pieter Carstens and Adam Richardson, Octavin’s international winemaker have joined forces in producing Herding Cats Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay. These Herding Cats winemakers were artful in blending authentic South African varietals with globally known varietals. The result is a medium bodied, bright fruit flavored wine. Pieter Carstens describes it this way, “In this lovely wine, we have herded together the ever so popular South African Chenin Blanc with the ever so flavorful Chardonnay to achieve and aromatic white with hints of green apple, bright citrus and a crisp clean finish.” Pieter is “spot on”! This is a very food friendly and versatile wine. At a suggested $24 for the 3 liter Octavin Home Wine Bar cask, Herding Cats Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay delivers an outstanding value.
If you are interested in tasting these wines and several hundred more, I strongly encourage you to spend the weekend in Grand Rapids for the 2011 International Wine, Beer & Food Festival November 17 – 19. In addition to being invited to sample from more than 1,000 wines, beers and spirits from around the world, 5 of Grand Rapids’ finest restaurants will prepare, present and serve exceptional multi-course meals with considered wine. Chefs and winemakers will share their knowledge and insights about their selections in an elegant, yet relaxed, sit down atmosphere. For more information about the festival, log on to http://www.showspan.com/GRW/Home.aspx .
If you would like to comment on our selections or share you own opinion email Supermarketsommelier@oakpress.com. Remember, you don’t have to pay a lot to enjoy a great bottle of wine. Look, Smell, Taste, you decide.