2003 Mia's Playground Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley ($16)
This exceptional value, which compares well with zinfandels that are twice the price, is bursting with penetrating and intense flavors of blackberry, cassis and spices of the ancient trade routes. The alcohol level is a powerful 14.9 percent, but it is almost entirely hidden behind the ripeness of the fruit and the softness of the texture. This zinfandel resembles a fine vintage port without the sweetness. Serve with stew, cassoulet, game.