This is mighty young stuff, but it's just in time for summer's best steaks.
McManis Family Vineyards' petite sirah is a strapping friendly farm kid from big acreage in California's San Joaquin Valley. Ordinarily that gets little respect compared with more precious turf, but the McManis family of longtime farming and modern smarts proves its worth and value here.
The nose is jammy with dark fruits and berries. You might expect peanut butter next, but what you get is chocolate around jelly-thick fruit and hints of cinnamon spice. There's a very easy texture with even more fruit at the end.
It's the bomb now but don't be afraid to take it near the grill or store for a couple of years. Just make sure the steak has juice to match.
Availability: $12 in select wine shops and liquor stores.
Chris Sherman, Times staff writer