Dashe Dry Creek Valley (California) Zinfandel 2005

$22

Dashe has emerged over the best few years as a reliable source of well-made, food-friendly zinfandels. Many producers these days push this grape to its limit, making heavy, monster wines that impress with power but prove disappointing at the supper table. They sport high levels of alcohol and invariably seem hot when you drink them. By contrast, Dashe's zins consistently display fine balance and harmony, with nuance rather than muscle constituting their appeal. This one, from what arguably is the finest growing region for zinfandel, Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley, offers vivid berry fruit, with a spicy, briary undertone. It would be great choice for an Independence Day cookout—with fireworks, of course.