Petite Sirah can be overwhelmingly big, bold, astringent, and other describers good and bad. But when the wine is done right it can also be very satisfying for big red wine drinkers.

I’m working my way through several sample bottles of California Petite Sirah. I’m just on the second label and so far been surprised at the smooth and lighter style employed by these winemakers.

Tonight, (Jan. 15) is my second night on a bottle of The Crusher, 2001, from Don & Sons. Now if Don & Sons doesn’t ring a bell it should if I give away the fact their last name is Sebastiani.That family is an iconic name in Sonoma County wine dating back nearly 100 years.

The ‘grower’s selection’ Petite Sirah had the beautiful dark purple of Petite along with the ripe plum, licorice, chocolate and a hint of herbs. The alcohol is in check at 13.5 percent. The wine did not have a lot of finish and would not have enough tannin for some drinkers.

One man’s loss is another man or woman’s gain. The Crusher is pretty easy to drink wine. If you’ve never had Petite Sirah it would be a good introduction to the grape. And because it is the Sebastiani family, it’s widely distributed. I’ve actually seen it in a couple of Indiana wine shops since receiving the sample.

I had the wine on night one, when the fruit was more pronounced, with some beef roast and was excellent. The second night the wine had really leveled out with the fruit going a little softer and finish softer yet. That was ok with a quick pan of pasta with seasoned tomatoes.

The Crusher would be a killer selection for easy drinking or the Petite Sirah novice.

The Crusher,$18, Trade Sample, Highly Recommended.

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