Episode #62 Concannon Petite Sirah and Chardonnay

Concannon Vineyard was one of the first established vineyards and wineries in the Central Coast. Established in 1883, their Cabernet Sauvignon clones were used to plant much of what is now Napa Valley. Known for their rocky soil Concannon winery was the first in the world to produce the brooding, silky and sexy Petite Sirah and they discovered America’s first female wine-maker.

The two wines reviewed below are part of a new effort of wines made from vineyards that are part of a conservancy effort to protect the land from urban sprawl. The Conservancy label consists of Petite Sirah, Chardonnay (reviewed below), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each retails for $15

2008 Concannon Chardonnay (Conservancy)

  • The Stuff: 100% Livermore Valley Chardonnay; Aged in French and American Oak (no mention of time). 6000 cases, 13.5%abv 
  • The Swirl: Clean and clear with a nice yellow hue. Lacks the typical Chardonnay viscosity.
  • The Sniff: The wine presents a delicate blend of melon and lemon with a hint of creamy butter on the back end.
  • The Sip: This is one of those Chardonnay’s that comes across even from front to back. There are no over the top flavors, but the wine showcases just enough to be enjoyable and interesting. Good flavors of tropical fruit and honeydew melon. A mild undertone of vanilla from the oak is pleasing. There is good acidity as well. As mentioned in the video there is an off flavor (mineral) in the finish that struck me as slightly disjointed. Very subtle but distracting.
  • The Score: At only $15 this can easily be your stand by Chardonnay. If you like your Chardonnay to still retain the traditional hints of butter, toast, and oak without being over the top, you’ll love this wine. It earns a score of 3+ out of 5

Other reviews on Cellar Tracker 1 Score 88pts; Earned 89 points from Wine Centric

2007 Concannon Petite Sirah (Conservancy)

  • The Stuff: 97% Petite Sirah and 3% Petit Verdot from Livermore Valley. 24 months in French and American Oak (new/used not specified); 6000 cases, 13.5%abv
  • The Swirl: Upon the pour of this wine you are immediately struck by the dark and brooding purple storm clouds that role in. A beautiful bright violet ring forms around the edge of the glass making the wine feel less intense.
  • The Sniff: Plum jam with a little more sweetness. A hot spice (or could be alcohol) comes through as well. The use of American oak is evident on the nose.
  • The Sip: The wine softly seduces you with thin fruit on the front and then grabs you by the neck and chokes you with big try tannin and tartness. Those that like to play with Syrah or Zinfandel will not enjoy this wine. A decent structured wine that would definitely come alive with the right food pairing – BBQ Chicken, Smoked Lamb
  • The Score: The lack of fruit on the front palate and overly thick back end lowers the score of this wine to a 3 (out of 5). Not a bad score, worthy of a try at only $15 retail.

Other reviews on Cellar Tracker 3 Scores 88pts; Earned 87 points from Cheap Wine Ratings

*Wine was provided as an industry sample with the intention to review


Owner of Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane, WA. (@nectarwine) Publisher of Spokane Wine Magazine (@spowinemag), author, speaker, consultant and internet marketer with Nectar Media (@nectarmedia)

6 comments on “Episode #62 Concannon Petite Sirah and Chardonnay

  1. Constance C

    I had a bottle of the Concannon Pinot Noir a couple weeks ago – excellent wine, I recommend trying that! :)

    1. drinknectar

      Thanks, Constance! The wine seems very good at the price point!

  2. Joshua S Sweeney

    Interesting. I had the Concannon Conservancy Chard and I absolutely did not like it. The acidity actually hurt my mouth… I wish I had another chance to try it again. I’m wondering if I had a bad bottle, but I’m not sure what flaw would have caused it.

    1. drinknectar

      That’s really odd. Did you have any cuts in your mouth or something 😉

      The only thing that struck me about this wine was that distraction in the finish. For $15 it presented itself as a pretty decent crisp, nearly naked Chardonnay.

      I hope you get a chance to try another bottle.


  3. Chris

    I got the chance to visit Concannon’s tasting room in January. I don’t remember this label, maybe it hadn’t been released yet, or at least not tasted that day. The issue of urban sprawl is very apparent in this part of the world and I’m glad vineyards such as this are making efforts to protect and draw attention to the issue.

    Concannon’s wines didn’t blow us away, but their Petite Sirah’s, we tasted 2 or 3 different versions, and Merlot were our favorites. Very good QPR.

    1. drinknectar

      Chris – I think this label was released in Feb/March. Definitely good QPR.


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