Petite Sirah is one of those grapes that falls below the radar for a lot of people. It's often used in blends. Zinfandel is often one of the things it's blended with. It is however bottled as a varietal also, mainly in California, and has a definite following. When it's great, Petite Sirah makes dense wines that can age a long time in the bottle. They can be inky, spicy, monoliths at times. The sorts of wines that need air and big food to settle them down and pair with. But they can be incredibly enjoyable, unique and fascinating to drink
The Castle Rock 2005 Petite Sirah from Russian River Valley in California starts off on a promising note. The nose is full of berries and the first sip, although tart, reveals some spicy characteristics. The tartness carries over to the mid palate, to the point of distraction. Well over an hour after the wine was decanted that tartness had not measurably dissipated. Some chocolate notes appear on the mid palate but they're not particualry strong. The finish does feature a touch of white pepper. But it's also a noticeably short finish. As you drink the wine you're waiting for the finish to carry itself longer in your mouth but it vanishes in an instant. All you're really left with is a tingling on your tongue from the tartness which is the main characteristic of this wine
Tartness aside, it's not unpleasant. However I do find it to be one dimensional in nature. Therefore I can not recommend this wine. It retails for right around $10.00. For that price there are scores of wines I could point out that offer a lot more bang for the buck as well as hedonistic drinking pleasure. In the category of Petite Sirah alone both Foppiano and Concannon have been making Petite Sirah for years that is consistently enjoyable vintage after vintage. if you're in the mood for Petite Sirah they're safe bets..