Tasted at a recent show of North American wines, this red blend stood out of the bottled crowd. Deep, opaque purple color shows off a nose of violets and dark chocolate and toast. Chewy and dense at first, it yields languorous blackberry and pepper flavors upheld by soft tannins and a nice sugar balance. A very nice yin and yang of velvet and strength. A great wine with winter dishes, especially a cassoulet. But it’s not just for winter, either. Pricey, but a keeper.

WHO: Vezer Family Vineyards
WHAT: Petite Sirah (65%), Zinfandel (35%)
WHERE: Suisun Valley, California
WHEN: 2006
HOW MUCH: $85 (Media sample)

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About The Author

Gary Thomas is a longtime professional journalist and onetime senior correspondent at the Voice of America who spent much of his long journalistic career working overseas, including many of the world's wine regions. He served as wine columnist for the Austin American-Statesman, and has written about wine and spirits for Wine Spectator and other publications. Thomas now lives in Florida, where he continues to taste and write about wine and spirits for PalatePress.com. He describes himself as "ombibulous."

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