I'm not sure how much more money I would have to make before a $15-20 bottle of wine became financially feasible as an "everyday" wine. If I ever make it there, I would like this to be my wine. That is fun to say. My wine. I do not produce this wine, obviously, but my thanks go out to the good people at the Starry Night Winery for all of the work they do to produce a wine that I love. I have had Starry Night's 2005 Tom Feeney Ranch Zinfandel and that was good, but a little rough around the edges. The Lodi Zin from Starry Night is thick and juicy, the big alcohol that Zin grapes bring was very well balanced.
Believe it or not, the 1999 Zinfandel is actually the current release from Peirano Estates. This is another Lodi zinfandel that I have enjoyed and I am beginning to think I need to pack up my things and move to Lodi, CA. The region makes some great wines and I enjoy trying new ones. This particular wine, if you can find it, is less than $15. I feel like I might need to get my hands on a second bottle before I can fully decide, but this might seriously compete with the Bogle Old Vine Zin for my attention. Though I do not know how long this vintage will be on shelves.
The Starry Night Winery currently makes six Zins. One of them, the Old Vine is...old vine, so in Zinfandel terms it is a more premium product. I was hoping that I would find this wine to be too complex -- I was hoping that I wouldn't like it so I wouldn't be tempted to buy more. Instead, this was a tremendously smooth wine and I really liked it. I don't recommend this wine as an everyday wine, but if you feel like spending more than $20 for a bottle you can be proud of, this certainly meets the requirements. This is a pretty big wine that can stand up to a lot of foods.
For what it is worth, I only had one complaint and it is easily remedied. This wine is a little hot. The downfall of Zinfandel is the alcohol content can be quite high, like it is here. Don't be scared, just plan ahead. This wine needs to mellow. Either decant it or maybe throw it in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. Both options will relax the high alcohol content and make it more drinkable.
If you have spent a fair amount of time around wine, Bogle is a name you probably recognize. It's a name even I knew before I bought this wine, but this was the first I've tasted. This wine is very easy to sum up: This wine is my everyday wine. The 2006 Zinfandel from Bogle doesn't rewrite the book on Zinfandel, but it is a very affordable wine that tastes good. You should be able to find this Old Vine Zin for around $10. I'm sorry, that should read like this, "You should be able to find this Old Vine Zin for around $10!!" Don't misunderstand my enthusiasm; this is not the best wine I have ever had. I am excited to have found something that I enjoy at such a great price.
I will admit I am probably still in the honeymoon phase with Zinfandel, a wine varietal that I met on vacation a few months ago and have had a wonderful affair with ever since (I hope Rioja doesn't mind). I have found Zinfandel to be a flavorful, medium-bodied wine.
I have been drinking a lot more Zinfandel lately and I tried this one based on absolutely nothing other than it's the one I grabbed when I was at the store looking for a Zin. I had never heard of it. No one recommended it.
I paid $16 for this (at Papa Joe's in Rochester) and found out a day later that I got pretty-well ripped off. In Michigan, I am told that Meijer stores will carry this at $6/bottle on special. At $6 this is a steal, at $16 I will probably never buy it ever again.
I liked it, but I felt it was unremarkable. It is very drinkable, but this is a wine that I would buy a few bottles at $6/per and keep on hand for one of those evenings where 1...or 2 bottles just aren't enough. So I grab the Rancho Zabaco and I know I'm in capable hands, but it isn't about good wine at that point.