Cycles Gladiator 2015 Petite Sirah

Cycles Gladiator 2015 Petite Sirah: Buy Buy Buy

For ten bucks you get a seriously full-bodied petite sirah. (!!!) Petite sirah is the standard-bearer for opaquely dark red wine. You won’t be disappointed by the amount of flavor, either.

Thank you, Adam LaZarre — the winemaker, whose signature is on the label.

Regarding that label…. We’re to believe that graphic art of naked ladies with bicycles is very Belle Epoque Parisian. Hmm. Apparently it sold a lot of bicycles, back in the day. I know this: my mother liked the artwork.


OK, big is relative. If you already love Great Big Reds, you will not be scared away. Yes, loads of flavor. Yes, 15% ABV. Yes, not shy with the oak.

It’s a bit untrendy. The back label boasts: “I craft the wine with maximum extraction and a heavy dose of sexy toasted oak to tame the beast.” It really is decidedly undainty. Huzzah!

The back label uses the word ‘monstrous’. Take that in a good way: lots of lots. Relative to most $10 wines, this is really-big stuff.


Great for $10, absolutely. “Steal” is more like it.

Petite sirah can have a lot of tannin, and this really has been smoothed out. It has a bit of a zing of acidity.

The wine maker’s description:

“Blueberry, blueberry, and more blueberry on the nose with hints of cinnamon and cedar in the background. Lush and sweet with layers of black fruits that wrap around the tongue. Melting tannins that leave the impression of milk chocolate coat the mouth. Blueberry motor oil that will stain your soul.”

That all seems right to me, if a bit poetic. I’d suggest letting it air a bit before drinking. The wine is going to get better minute by minute. You would be sad to drink half the bottle before the flavor has opened up. And swirl a lot.


With any luck, you can find this in a grocery store near you. I bought mine at The Bread Garden in Iowa City.

Here’s a Wine-Searcher link, just in case.

The website seems a bit sparse as of this writing, but here are the tasting notes.

Also from the company website:

“LaZarre’s philosophy: ‘It’s one thing to sell $300 bottles of wine to a few people. I love to produce really great wines that taste two to three times the price and to know that, on any given night, someone somewhere is enjoying my wine.'”

We appreciate that. On this night, this someone is right here enjoying his wine. Cheers!