January 26, 2005

Joel Gott 2003 California Zinfandel

Joel Gott Wines, Oakville, Calif.; about $16.

If we can't physically get to San Francisco's 14th Annual Zinfandel Festival this week, let's get there spiritually, by drinking zinfandel. The choices range from light and dry to thick and sweet as port, and from $2.99 up, but I would suggest starting here, with Joel Gott's California Zin. For one thing, it's fairly affordable, something fewer and fewer zinfandels can claim these days. More important, it's delicious, offering the grape's hallmark intensity (think black plums on steroids) with beguiling spice and impressive grace.

This recommendation originally appeared in the Denver Post.

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