Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wine Review: L.A. Cetto 2011 Petite Sirah

December is L.A. Cetto Month thanks to International Spirits and Wine!

L.A. Cetto 2011 Petite Sirah

This is the 2011 Petite Sirah from L.A. Cetto. Estate bottled in Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley) in the state of Baja California, Mexico. The ABV is 13.5%.

For some background on the L.A. Cetto winery and links to the other reviews in this series, please check out L.A. Cetto - A Brief History of the Mexican Winery. To learn more about Mexican wine in general, I've written a complete history on the subject: Mexico makes wine too, muchacho.

Petite Sirah isn't the same grape as Syrah, although they are related. The "petite" part of the name refers to the grape size and because there's more of a skin-to-flesh ratio it actually produces a bigger wine than Syrah. It's blended into many wines now to increase mass appeal so chances are you've had your share of Petite Sirah and you just don't know it. It adds dark fruit, roundness and easy approachability. If you're a fan of Meiomi Pinot Noir then you're probably more of a Petite Sirah fan than a Pinot Noir fan. And there's nothing wrong with that. Petite Sirah is delicious and a great wine for unwinding.

This one was aged six months in oak and six months in the bottle. It's a deeply pigmented ruby, as you should expect from the varietal.

The nose is exactly what I would imagine plum cola would smell like if they even made such a thing. Maybe they do, I don't know, I'm not all that hip to the cola scene. But SOMEBODY has to make plum cola, right? And who do they think they are? What kind of sick bastard makes plum cola? That's disgusting! Anyways, this wine smells awesome.

Veruca Salt
At first the mouth is a big blend of red berries. Wild berries, bing cherries, sour cherries, cranberries, snozberries. Then as you swish and slurp the flavor starts to take on more of a dried leafy character. Black tea. It's just like black tea. With snozberries. And plum cola.

It's got a meaty body with soft, round tannin and moderate acidity. It finishes with cranberry, black tea and dark chocolate.

Usually for me Petite Sirah starts off with sex at first sip as I rave about how I have deep primal feelings for this wine and want to do inappropriate things to it. Then half way through the bottle I get bored and want to move on to something less explosive. Go figure.

The L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah had just the opposite effect on me. I honestly didn't like it at first. It smelled great but the flavor was disappointing. I thought "why would I buy this when Michael David Petite Petit is on sale?" Then I realized why I should...

It's lighter than the other Petite Sirah you'll find. It doesn't have that big sticky fruit that, even though they will relieve all the stress of the day with one sip, can get a bit too much at a certain point. The tea flavor and earthy subtleties keep things interesting while not taking away from the berry flavors. And the berry flavors aren't so obnoxiously overpowering that it just tires out your palate.

So, yeah. The more I had of this wine the fonder I grew of it. And I don't think it was the alcohol talking. Is it amazingly glamorous? No. Should you desperately seek it out? Nah. Save that hunt for their Zinfandel. But if you happen to see it you should grab a bottle. L.A. Cetto's Petite Sirah is a good $10 bottle of wine. It won't disappoint.

Price: $10
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying.
(what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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