This week I drank a 2011 Guenoc petite sirah that ran me about $12. I'll get this little factoid out of the way first: the vineyard was established by Lillie Langtry, the famous 19th-century actress.
The label says 'Made correctly, "Pets" become the benchmark for big, hedonistic wines; blueberry flavors wrapped in silky tannins." So I got to thinking: What's a hedonistic wine?
Dr. Vinny at WineSpectator.com defines it like this: "“Hedonistic” is usually saved for those really amazing wines—ones that are joyful, pleasurable and gratifying on several levels. Since the word refers to all of the senses, I’d expect a hedonistic wine to be aromatic, lush in texture, visually appealing, and of course to taste good, with a long, lingering finish. It’s not a term typically applied to snappy, juicy wines, or rustic, tannic ones either."
Looking at comments in the forum section at vinocellars.com, people seem to think of shiraz and occasionally zin or cab when they hear "hedonistic". I was thinking more of a dessert wine (which someone on the forum mentioned) like a sauternes or an amarone, which as a certain Dr Lecter once noted (in the book version) goes well with census worker.
Anyway, I wasn't crazy about the Guenoc; it was one of my least favorites of the "Pets" I've drunk this fall. I didn't have any particular subtlety of flavor and had maybe a bit too much tannin for my taste. I found it more to my liking on the second night actually.
Not a bad wine, and maybe I got a bottle that wasn't as good; just not the wine for me.