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Catherine Bugue

Catherine Bugue

If you are of the mind that Petite Sirah wines are so big that you need to brace yourself before taking a sip, you have to try this Gratus (grah-tuhs) from Napa Valley. It has the deeply intense color of Petite Sirah with richly concentrated fruit, but the blackberry, spice and herb flavors glide across a palate on a super silky wave; this is pure pleasure for the tongue. Bravo to owner and vineyard manager, Thomas Wargovich, and winemaker Robbie Meyer.

This Petite Sirah is all estate fruit; the vineyard lies on the eastern slopes of Howell Mountain. In addition to vineyards, the Gratus estate is an arboretum — with more than 1,000 trees; perhaps the most extensive plantings on the West Coast.

Catherine Bugue is the Star’s tasting panel writer. Her pursuit of a good glass of wine provides a nice supply of choices for the Wine of the Week column. If you’d like to submit a Napa Valley wine, please send it to the Napa Valley Wine Academy, 2501 Oak St., Napa, CA 94559. There’s no guarantee your wine will be featured, but all will be evaluated.

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