This wine has a lovely dark garnet color with well-defined legs once swirled. On the nose I get lively aromas of black raspberry and white pepper and a tickling in the nose from the alcohol (15.6%). Initially, I was getting hints of brettanomyces, but that seems to have blown off. In the mouth one gets a nice fresh flavor of dark fruits, spice (pepper, primarily), and bright acid backed with a nice tannic structure. The good balance of fruit, spice and acid lingers on the finish. I've tasted this wine on three occasions with very consistent results. This was a $15 bargain at Trader Joe's (retailed for $45). The 2006 Beatty Ranch Zin is not of the same caliber.
Having lived in Northern California for 25 years, I've had an ever-increasing interest in wine (especially red) and wine-food pairings. My favorite varietals are Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Sonoma and Napa, Pinot Noir from Oregon, and Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone wines from France.