Lake County, Calif., $17
Bright and cool with fresh berries, but with structure and savory notes of pepper and spice on the finish. Feels like a very of-the-moment pour.
Southern Wine & Spirits in the District and Maryland, Republic National in Virginia: Available in the District at Potomac Wines & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson, Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More (Alexandria, McLean).
Sonoma County, Calif., $37
Big, lush aromas and textures, with more cherry th an the usual petite sirah berry, and drier, velvety tannins, dark chocolate, even a hint of fresh herb. Worth a splurge, especially if you compare with overpriced cabernet sauvignon.
Republic National: Available in Maryland at Roland Park Wines & Liquors and Urban Cellars in Baltimore, Bin 201 Wine Sellers in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More (Alexandria, Fairfax).
Lodi, Calif., $15
Reserved nose for a petite sirah and good balance between fruity and savory. Easy-drinking, and good with barbecue.
Bay State Wines in the District and Maryland, E.C. Robbins in Virginia: Available in Maryland at Wells Discount Liquors, Urban Cellars and Wine Underground in Baltimore.
Clarksburg, Calif., $10
Consistently one of the best cheap buys from California. Rich, dark, juicy, yet soft tannins. The 2010 has spiced-meat and tobacco notes along with the typical berry. A good introduction to big, bold reds.
Republic National: Available in the District at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Bell Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Beltway Fine Wine & Spirits in Towson, Wells Discount Liquors and Urban Cellars in Baltimore, Wegmans in Lanham. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & Spirits (Alexandria, McLean), Wegmans in Fairfax.
Mendocino County, Calif., $13
Lots of fresh red berries and spice, with violets and a pleasing finish. Versatile, pairing with many foods but also enjoyable alone by the glass.
Republic National: Available in Maryland at Total Wine & More (Laurel, Towson).
Paso Robles, Calif., $17
Dark and deep, but balanced, with good acidity and soft tannins. Pairs well with spicy meats.
DOPS Inc.: Available in the District at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill.
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Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
These petite sirahs come from various corners of California, including Lake County, Clarksburg, Lodi and Paso Robles. They show what good value the grape offers at various points, from under $10 to just under $40. — Jason Wilson.