The StoryThe Crusher Petite Sirah is 82% Petite Sirah and then smaller percentages of Syrah, Tempranillo, Malbec, Merlot, and Zinfandel sourced mainly from 2 vineyards, one in the Clarksburg AVA and another in the Lodi AVA, both areas have good growing conditions for Petite Sirah. The Crusher line of wines is one of Don Sebastiani and Sons brand of wines. The Sebastiani family have been in the wine business in Sonoma for over 100 years, with Don Sebastiani and Sons representing the 3rd generation and Don and Sons being the 4th generation. Petite Sirah is a cross between the Syrah grape and an obscure grape called Peloursin created in the mid-1800s by a French Botanist named Durif. The grape never caught on in France but does quite well in the US and Australia. In California, it is used in countless drink-it-now Red blends and is often added to Zinfandel.Petite Sirah is a rich, spicy, dark-colored, bold wine. With the Crusher, this Red was aged for 10 months in a mix of French, Hungarian, and American oak barrels. French and Hungarian oak is the species, just grown in different areas, American oak is a different species with a wider grain structure and flavor profile. Hungarian oak is less expensive than French oak but offers similar flavors to the wine and is a smart choice for value wine. American oak with its more open grain can give more oak influence in a shorter period of time, which can be useful in wine in this price range (I found it for $9.99 on sale). The alcohol content is 13.5%.The Tasting NotesThe color is just barely see-thru raspberry jam red. The nose is slightly smokey, kind of dark and brooding, there are red berries, baking spice, soft herbs, bitter dark chocolate, and ripe strawberry. This is a rich, jammy Red, but still balanced, I think a delicate hand made this wine. It starts with ripe black cherry, spice, chocolate powder, and a light touch of pepper. The mid-palate shows tart cranberry, a little vanilla, sharp orange zest, a salty sensation, and a late hit of sweet blueberry. The wine has tannins (so many don't nowadays), they are sweet and don't bite, but they are part of the mix. The finish is soft but sticks around awhile.The Summary * The Crusher Petite Sirah 2016 is a very tasty Red, Wine Enthusiast gave it 90 points and you can find it for around ten bucks. * France's loss is California's gain, this Petite Sirah is a solid, delicious wine.
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