2017 Barra of Mendocino Petite Sirah $22 - 90 Points

 The first of three samples from this Mendocino county grower/producer was a welcome re-introduction to a grape I've had a decades-long on-again-off-gain affair with. As inky as you'd expect from petite sirah - a grape I often think of as a brink wall hurtling down the highway at top speed - yet with a clean viscosity and nimble movement in the glass. Hailing from the Bella Collina vineyard, its nose is classic Mendocino gently spiced with sawdust. Those spices magnify and evolve in the mouth where the tannins are characteristically broad-shouldered and mouth-coating, but the pretty (odd adjective for such a masculine wine, but fitting) fruit really takes center stage here. Taming petite's largesse into balance like this requires a gift from the vineyard, deft handling in the cellar, or, more likely, both. Should cellar very well for the next decade. (Sample) 90 Points