I am a fan of Dry Creek Zinfandel, but my favorites are either priced out of my reach (Ridge Geyserville) or no longer available in my area (Trentadue). This Alderbook Zin--$11.79 at D&W FreshMarket--fills the bill quite nicely. It has a lot of the intense old vine traits I love in the Ridge and Trentadue wines.
It's a medium deep color with some rusty tones--actually fairly light for a Zinfandel. But there's nothing light about the aromas and flavors. The Dry Creek intensity is apparent from the first sniff--blackberries, dried cherries, cloves and flowers. The label speaks of orange blossoms, and, yes, I smell orange blossoms too. The flavors are equally intense and powerful--this wine reminds me of a good Southern Italian red like the Salice Salentino of Agricole Vallone (see above). Black pepper, blackberries and black licorice dominate the finish. This is a very enjoyable wine, usually priced at $25 and a great value at $11.79.