Concannon 2003 Central Coast Petite Sirah ($10.99)
This excellent, good-value Petite Sirah fits our Wine Tasting 101 theme for January. Typical of the grape, the wine is black and all but opaque, with a day-glo violet edge. Perfumed black fruit is lifted by just a hint of high-tone volatile acidity at first, which blows off to unveil simple but deep black fruit. Full-bodied, concentrated and quite tannic, but the mouth-filling fruit and firm acidity carry the tannins well. US Importer: (Jan 18, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: Rare red meat is the standard pairing, but I like Petite Sirah with the beefy, earthy flavors of duck. It was well-matched with the recipe for duck breast in a saffron-ginger cream sauce over fettuccine featured in last week's Wine Advisor FoodLetter.



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