According to Dry Creek, this was an "almost perfect" vintage for zinfandel. That's particularly significant because Dry Creek has demonstrated to my satisfaction that its zinfandels can age brilliantly for decades in top vintages. (Samples of the 1997, 1981 and 1979 Dry Creek zinfandels were exceptional in recent tastings.) This full-bodied red wine, bolstered with 13 percent petite sirah, is superbly flavorful — with generous raspberry and blackberry fruit and hints or anise, chocolate, black pepper and herbs. It's delightful now, but I hope to be around to taste it again in 20-30 years.

From: Sonoma County, Calif.

Price: $17

Serve with: Hearty stews, roast lamb or beef