Thursday, October 27, 2011

Concannon Conservancy 2009 Crimson and Clover Review

I was thrilled when Concannon Vineyard contacted me and asked me if I would like to try one of their red wines. You may have heard me mention my love for red wine (like here). To be honest with you, I haven’t tried a red wine that I haven’t liked. However, there are different levels of like and love. Some red wines are so delicious that they don’t last long in my house, others linger longer. I knew just by glancing at the bottle that Concannon Conservancy was going to be great (call it a wine enthusiasts premonition).

You may be wondering what on earth a “Conservancy” wine is, well it is a wine created to help protect precious California vineyard land from urban development. All of the Conservancy winegrowers have their land in a legal trust that forever protects the land against development. All Conservancy wines are sourced 100% from grapes grown in these Livermore vineyards that are under protection.

This 2009 Crimson and Clover Conservancy wine was created as a tribute and 80th Birthday present for Jim Concannon (the father of America’s first Petite Sirah!). The name Crimson and Clover represents Concannon’s Irish heritage (crimson refers to the strong, bright, deep red color and clover= prosperity) and is the fifth wine in the Conservancy portfolio (which also includes Petite Sirah, Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon).

Crimson and Clover is a “velvety blend of signature Livermore varietals. Aromas of currant, clove and vanilla lead into bright, fruit flavors of blackberry on the palate. The spicy finish is soft and long with hints of leather and tobacco”. It is suggested to pair Crimson and Clover with a black pepper-encrusted filet mignon with goat cheese or grilled artichoke with tarragon aioli (yum!).

Crimson and Clover is the first Conservancy wine to be a blend. It is 13.7% alcohol and 50 percent Petite Sirah, 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 percent Syrah and 10 percent Zinfandel. Blend wines are becoming more and more popular and in my opinion, this is a very good thing. It is like taking delicious fruits or fruit juices that are all great by themselves and combining select ones to make an even better flavor (Blueberry Pomegranate anyone?). I have always liked the originals a lot, but I am finding that I like blends even better.

Crimson and Clover is a nice dark and deep red wine. It has a nice, deep berry scent. It also has a full-bodied flavor that is reminiscent of berries. I love this wine. It is strong enough to be flavorful, but it is not overbearing. It is light enough for a picnic, but nice enough for a dinner party. This is definitely a versatile wine that you will want to keep in stock in your wine cellar (or kitchen cabinet).

Another great thing about this wine is that it’s suggested retail is just $18! That is a great price for a bottle of wine, but it is a particularly great price for wine that tastes this good. Jim Concannon’s Father who started the business had a vision of making hand-crafted wines at a reasonable price, so all of the Conservancy wines are offered at just $15-$18 a bottle. I was amazed when I saw the wine because it definitely looks expensive. I was even more impressed when I tasted it because they could easily be charging triple this price.

Make sure that you like Concannon Vineyard on Facebook for updates. Only 10,000 cases of Crimson and Clover will be produced, so make sure you try this great wine while you can!

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