Okay, so it won in Baltimore. Nevertheless, we applaud the achivement of this '06 Rosenblum Heritage Clones Petite Sirah I had been lucky enough to have this wine at a fun Italian restaraunt in Cupertino, Fontana's. My table found it to be a great companion to the hearty Italian fare, but also smooth and complex enough to be enjoyed by our guest who was watching his girlish figure and opted for a salad. The wine had flavors of berries, chocolate and coffee. Still, with its 14.8% alcohol and balanced acidity, it was food friendly and stood up nicely to Fontana's delicious sauces. The black fruit flavor came forward and made it a wine we could enjoy while waiting, as well as a bottle that we found enjoyable throughout the meal. The mocha finish even made it compatible with the chocolate dessert we somehow managed to squeeze in. Aged in American and French oak, the vines go back 80-100 years, representing a long tradition of Petite Sirah in the area near San Francisco, Contra Costa county. Petite Sirah is a dark wine guaranteed to stain your teeth Wine lover's purple. After the long two days of meetings we endured, we were happy for the giggles. So even though Wine Spectator only gave it an 89, the Baltimore Sun singled it out for wine of the week, And more importantly, our server suggested it as a great option for us. Despite its ignominious ranking, its quality and,Rosenblum's leadership in good value petite sirah is carrying this little gem along. However, I noticed that the online wine list at Fontana's does not list this! So I called to make sure a) it was still available and b)I was not hallucinating. Funny! The menu does call out those offerings that received 91 points or more. If you do find yourself in Cupertino and need a place for dinner, try Fontana's http://www.fontanasitalian.com/index.htm. And while you're at it, give an 89 point wine a chance. You won't be sorry
Wine graveyards are littered with 89-rated bottles, but some just might deserve a chance to come back from the dead. What is the difference between an 89 and a 90 rating for a bottle of wine? Sales. A reasonably priced 90 rating flies off the shelf. An 89 rating for the same dollars just sits and sits. The 89 Project invites wine writers, reviewers, critics and bloggers to cross-post anything they write about any wine getting an 89 rating. Let us give these red-headed step children of the wine world a second chance to shine brightly with success, or splat down into ignominious failure.