Though this wine was the first Twisted Oak Winery I had ever bought, it was not the first I had tasted. The first was their recently released 2006 Twisted Oak River of Skulls, a very delicious Mourvedre based wine. Though there is a distributor in Massachusetts for Twisted Oak wines, I rarely see them available at the wine stores I frequent. I found their Petite Sirah though at Seiyo, a combination Japanese restaurant and wine store. It was the only Twisted Oak wine that they carried.
The 2005 Twisted Oak Petite Sirah ($19.99) is 100% Petite Sirah from the Frog's Tooth Vineyard in the Salt Springs valley of Calaveras County. It matured in an intriguing oak combination of 25% new American oak, 20% one year old American oak, 15% two year old American oak and 40% neutral oak. It has an alcohol content of 14.3%. I shared the bottle with several of my regular wine buddies. None of them new anything about Twisted Oak prior to drinking this wine.
The wine had compelling aromas, ripe plum and blackberry with spicy notes that reminded me of anise. On the palate, it is a big wine, with lush fruit, including blueberry paired along with a melange of spices, from vanilla to almost cinnamon. Yet it was a smooth wine as well, with restrained though noticeable tannins. The finish was decently long and it left you with a satisfying taste. Plenty of character in this wine and everyone else enjoyed it very much too. It was the first wine of five that was finished that night. It was also the only wine that everyone agreed on liking.
So I have enjoyed the two Twisted Oak wines that I have tasted. But why are they not more readily available in Massachusetts? I know the distributor, Cafe Europa, deals with many of the local wine stores I frequent. Are they not pushing the wine enough? Or are the wine stores declining to carry the wine? They may be an issue I will further pursue.