Giving away a little bit of how behind I am on posts, we drank this 2004 Mauritson Grower's Reserve Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley on Super Bowl Sunday. This will also show that while in theory I like the concept of pairing food and wine, really I just like the drink what I like with what I like to eat, though I will occasionally comment on whether or not a pairing worked for a wine.
Point in case: I served this Zin with a mish mosh of Super Bowl type appetizers- cheeses and crackers, various chips and dips, bourbon chicken, etc. It didn't work, but no one much cared as the wine was good and the appetizers yummy!
The wine clocked in at 15.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, cost us $26.40 in a club shipment, and only 275 cases of it were made in a mix of grapes from 3 vineyards.
My first note on the wine was that the juice was not as dark as I thought it would be, based on it being a Zin and all the other Zins I have consumed. On the nose I found pepper, jammy blackberries, vanilla, and other dark fruit. It had a very nice and aromatic nose that didn't seem to succumb to the alcohol content at all. In the mouth, the fruit was incredibly juicy with blackberries and blackberry pie being dominant. It also showed all spice and had a peppery kick on the back palate.
Overall, a very tasty Zin, and a good value for the money.