For quite a few years now, the zinfandel grape has lived a double life. Its most prevalent personality with respect to the general public is the pink one, the (in)famous blush that comes in boxes the size of cinder blocks. During the wonderfully permissive 1970s, this alcoholic Kool-Aid of California made a lot of people forget that this varietal's original purpose was to create complex, mysterious, and mercurial RED wine.
Don't feel bad for white zinfandel; it's made hundreds of millions of dollars for vineyards over the course of thirty-five years. Its unintentional crime is obscuring the wonderful possibilities of this grape in its fullest form.
Enter Dynamite Zinfandel. This winery is famous for its cabernet sauvignon that, in years past, has rivaled full-blooded cabs from the Alexander Valley and even from Napa. The zinfandel isn't as well-known, but I found that my Folly Road Harris Teeter had hacked off better than eight dollars off of its original price of 21.99. Done deal.
As a rule, zinfandel is characterized as "spicy"and "full-bodied". Those who write such broad reviews about red zin aren't lazy, but they may be a little impatient. Dynamite is just that (spicy and full-bodied) when it first enters the world in whatever vessel you choose; in fact, with a 14.8% alcohol content, it's downright fiery.
Here's where I get to prove zinfandel's "mercurial" status. Dynamite does figuratively explode off your taste buds at the beginning of its lifespan, but once a sufficient amount of air gets under this selection, this wine goes from one masquerading as a powerful cabernet to a very playful, seductive alternative. Hints of chocolate and cherry present themselves, depending on the fare this particular zin is accompanying. All this from one bottle, and Dynamite is but one member of a family that has such fun names as "Sin Zin", "Zig Zag Zin", and even "Big Ass Zinfandel" from Sonoma County. Much better than the pink stuff.
Sláinte, Na zdorovye, Skol, Prost, Salud, Santé, L'Chayim, and Cheers.