Guenoc 2005 Lake County Petite Sirah ($16.99)
Inky blackish purple with a dark garnet edge, shines like patent leather in the glass. Dark, plummy fruit, black and blue berries, pleasant if a bit restrained on the nose. Ripe and mouth-filling; black fruit is shaped by sufficient acidity for balance; gentle tannic astringency appears in the finish. A bit on the soft and smooth side for Petite Sirah, which can be harshly tannic in youth, making it a good choice if you don't want to wait out years of cellar time to try this variety. US Importer: N/A (Dec 16, 2007)

FOOD MATCH: Like many low-end Petite Sirahs, it makes a simple "glass of red wine" and a good companion with burgers or steaks or sharp cheese. It made a decent, if offbeat, match with baked potatoes "loaded" with broccoli, bacon and cheese stoked up with a bit of chipotle chiles en adobo.

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