The 2011 Bonterra Zinfandel from California's Mendocino County is a new release that is just beginning to trickle in to Tampa Bay retailers, and it is worth keeping an eye out for its imminent arrival. Expect to pay about $13 for this lovely zin from one of our favorite organic vineyards.
Zin is one of our favorite reds, too, typically rich and complex with fine-tuned tannins and mouth-filling fruit. This one satisfies on those key points but enriches the melange of flavors with some nice dark chocolate beginning with the nose, where it is joined by warm spice and fig. The depth of this wine shows itself at first sip and develops fully through mid palate. Dark fruits and dark chocolate appear first followed by blackberry, dark chocolate cherry and a smidge of clove for spice. A bit of black pepper pops up at the end of a medium-long finish.
We find zinfandel to be a versatile wine, having drunk it happily with holiday turkey, pizza and burgers. It will pair exceptionally well with rack of lamb or roast duck.
Colette Bancroft is the Times' book editor, and John Bancroft is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.