The 2011 Pennywise Petite Sirah is 86% Petite Sirah, 8% Merlot and 6% Tannat (a blending grape originally from the Northern Rhone in France, it gives the wine a red berry flavor, dark purple color and adds structure) sourced from vineyards in 58% Lodi, 20% Mendocino, 12% Clarksburg and 10% Paso Robles. Pennywise is a label produced by The Other Guys Wine, who are the 4th generation of the Sebastiani family, you might be familiar with Don Sebastiani and Sons, TOG also make Hey Mambo, Leese-Fitch and Plungerhead and a few more. Petite Sirah is also known as Durif and is a cross between Syrah and an obscure grape that you have never heard of from the Rhone region in France, basically to combat some mildew problems they were having with Syrah. The alcohol content is 13.5% and you should be able to find this Petite Sirah for around $11.
The color is a pretty purple that becomes almost clear as it reaches the edge of the glass. The nose dark and smokey, a little new leather coat, black cherry, fudge brownies, BBQ ribs on a smoker. This Petite Sirah has a silky mouthfeel and a solid substantial feel. It tastes of ripe raspberry, cola, vanilla, oak spice and bitter dark chocolate. The mid palate adds some tart cherry, a sight tug from the tannins and sweet blueberry. The tannins are there, but well controlled and the acidity has you smacking your lips and allows the full flavored finish to linger for a long time.
It is funny, the market for Syrah/Shiraz wines tanked a few years ago and have yet to rebound, but Petit Sirah is motoring right along. The Pennywise Petite Sirah is well made and delicious, it is a wonderful BBQ or grilling wine and it really drinks well, there is a lot going on in your glass. $11 gets you a balanced, flavorful Red wine, that is a joy to drink.