Summertime and the living is easy… especially when you find a great inexpensive wine. Deck time to me usually involves grilling up various meats and veggies, lounging on the deck, and sipping a vino. One often looks to chilled whites and rosés during the warm temps, but I often look for bold reds. Zinfandel is a superb outdoor deck wine.
Zinfandel makes me remember the great times in California vineyards we’ve had. Wineries such as Zin Alley, Ridge, Dry Creek, Turley, and others, create dusty, durable Zins that lust for the outdoors. I recall walking through the Ridge Estate looking over the 100-year-plus-old field-blended Zin, Alicante Bouschet, and Petite Sirah vines. It was hot, dusty, and breezy and the vines seem to pick up cues from those environmental factors.
Zinfandel is certainly one of the best values for red wines on the market. It can be made in several styles, ranging from ripe, almost flabby styles, to cool, higher-altitude versions. I find those mountainous Zins to be very interesting and quite tasty.
The Folie à Deux Dry Creek Valley for 2013 is an example of the warmer climate Zin. I’ve recently returned to Zin consumption after a bit of a hiatus due to a concentration on Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and others. I can recommend several recent bottlings, including this gem!
Start with the price: $9.59 (Costco). I don’t usually expect too much at this price level, but lately, I’ve discovered several that would make outstanding daily drinkers. Move to the nose and you will discover a familiar aroma of jammy red fruits, dust, and a bit of cocoa. Flavor abounds with hints baking spice and plentiful dark fruit. The finish is long and the palette is soft.
I shall be investing in a few more, perhaps even a case. If you are looking for a nice daily sipper or a pairing with the grilled meats of summer, this is a great wine to pull from your cellar.
TScale rating: 91 points. One of the best Zinfandels at this price level. Easy to find as well, which is always a bonus.
Wine Enthusiast: 89 points (Virginie Boone)
An interesting side-note…. while shopping at Costco, I found a palette or two of this bottle under a mislabeled sign. The sign was close, but was for the Folie à Deux Zinfandel from Amador County, which I have not tried. The sultry associate took some offense when I pointed out the error. I simply inquired if the Dry Creek was the same price as the Amador. He tore down the sign and stormed off mumbling, “I can’t be expected to keep up on everything… blah blah blah…” Really? I just wanted to know the price. He suggested that I should have someone look it up to find out. On the way out, he said, “Sir, this is the right sign.” By now, I wasn’t interested in semantics, but pointed out that Dry Creek is located in Sonoma County, not Amador County. This, as one might imagine, made him fume. With that, I was off to pop the cork!