When I hear “New Frontier” I think of the Old West, or maybe Star Trek. Okay, schmaltzy opening for a quick wine review.

But there are still a few new frontiers even in old wine country. Lake County, just north of Napa, likes to refer to itself as one of those new frontiers. The fruit grown there has been sold to others for years. It has been a great place to grow fruit or even buy property at more reasonable prices than the incredibly unreasonable Napa Valley.

But now more wineries are popping up on the national scene with good wines for your consideration. The “P.S. I Love You” line in the headline refers to a joint marketing effort by a group of California winemakera who grow and make Petite Sirah wines.

I’ll write more about Petite Sirah over the coming weeks. Jo Diaz, the able marketing coordinator for the “PS” groups, signed me up for samples and I’m now sitting on several bottles of Petite Sirah at several different price points.

A column defining the grape will probably be forthcoming. But to greatly oversimplify, there is noting petite about Petite Sirah.

I opened a Line 39 bottle of Petite Sirah to have with my homemade chili tonight. Line 39 represent the latitude of the winery property in Lake Country. Roy Cecchetti’s winery has gotten noticed the past couple of years with nice words from Wine Spectator Online, Wine Enthusiast, Impact/Shanken Communications, and others.

All Petite Sirah wines are big and bold – some just smoother than others. The Line 39 bottle had nice richness and was certainly big and bold – just the way most describe Petite Sirah. It has very dark fruit, some acidity, and until fully opened up – some astringency. But after the wine has time to breathe, it is enjoyable big red wine.

It’s probably most impressive when you consider you can pick this up at your nearest wine shop for a really surprising SRP of $10.

The Line 39 is a great, and inexpensive introduction to Petite Sirah!

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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