2014 Cycles Gladiator

Petite Sirah

No varietal is better suited for our endless winters than petite sirah, largely because it is anything but petite. But it also often needs some serious cellaring. Not so with the 2014 Cycles Gladiator Petite Sirah ($12), which is ready to roll, smooth and a bit smoky, with a harmonic convergence of robust dark fruit and spot-on tannin, all the way through a 60-second finish. The handiwork of fab vintner Adam LaZarre, who started the winery in 2005, sold it and then returned as winemaker-only in 2013, this is a rich and racy delight. For those of us who grill all winter, it’s a swell accompaniment for burgers and brats, but also stands up deftly to the soups, stews and braises of the grape’s signature season.

Available at Surdyk’s, South Lyndale and Lowry Hill.

Bill Ward