My first selection for these troubled times is the second most popular wine reviewed here by pageviews, the Petite Sirah by Crane Lake. This label is made by Bronco Wine Company who also produce the Charles Shaw brand for Trader Joe’s. Crane Lake is offered to independent retailers and typically sells for a couple dollars more than the more famous “2-buck Chuck.” Another difference is that more than just the typical varieties are offered, including this Petite Sirah and even a Sangiovese.
Petite Sirah is a good variety to look for in value wines these days as it flies a bit below the radar of most consumers. Many of the best examples can be found for less than $20 a bottle but I was interested in what you could get for $4. I picked up the 2004 vintage a while back but did not review it was a bad bottle, but I was able to track down the 2005 vintage for this tasting.
Crane Lake, Petite Sirah 2005 ($4) – Dark purple-black color with aromas of blueberry compote and white pepper. Simple and juicy blueberry and plum flavors with some black pepper finishing with plush tannins and good acidity. Clean and surprisingly varietally correct.
Composite cork closure