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.