Frankly, the Wine Curmudgeon didn’t think he’d like this. So what happened when I tasted it? I was quite taken with its quality – a well-made, varietally-correct zinfandel for about $8 at most grocery stores. It’s hard to beat that (and proves, once again, not to pre-judge wine).
Unlike some zinfandels, the Smoking Loon wasn’t especially fruity. I’m beginning to think that lack of fruit is a function of the 2006 vintage in California, since this wasn’t the first time I’ve noticed it. But this was not a problem, since the wine was spicy and brambly –- just the way zinfandel should be. It’s a contender for next year’s $10 Hall of Fame. Serve this with barbecue, pizza and burgers.