Wine Of The Week: V. Sattui 2008 Gilsson Vineyard Zinfandel

I got a little behind this week what with one thing and another. Taxes, mostly. Boy, was that fun. The point is I left the Wine of the Week until this morning which meant I had to taste before lunch which is usually something I cannot stand to do and spit as fast as technically possible.

But this week’s selection, V. Sattui’s 2008 Gilsson Vineyard Zinfandel turned out to be dangerously good. To the point that I had to think twice about the whole spitting thing. Dark ruby red in color, you can tell at first sight this is probably going to be a hearty wine. The smell is terrific, black berries, a little bit of violet, just a hint of cinnamon. You get more of that berry character in the mouth and there’s also some chocolatey sweetness, but there are also fairly firm tannins (the stuff you feel on the back of your teeth) that keep everything together and mean this wine has the potential to age for a few years.

The wine, which I got as a sample, costs $36. The alcohol level is 15 percent, rather robust, but not that bad as zins go.

V. Sattui wines are available only online and at the winery, so if you do give it as a gift or take it to a party you can be fairly sure it will be unique. Zinfandel goes well with most hearty foods _ it’s great with fried chicken, the peppery notes in the wine pick up on a spicy batter.

And, while I wouldn’t absolutely recommend it for breakfast, it turns out it’s not bad with a toasty onion bagel.