Zinfandel was the first love of my wine life. And though several years and wines have since passed, I still hold a special place in my heart for this varietal. Especially when it’s made by Seghesio Family Vineyards who,since 1895, have set the bar for Zinfandel in California. For this 2013 Sonoma County Zinfandel,winemaker Ted Seghesio sourced fruit from both Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys and carefully harvested to ensure desired ripeness.Zin is tricky – often grapes ripen inconsistently on each cluster. If the winemaker isn’t careful, under-ripe green fruit will be collected with raisins.This is actually a field blend,where grapes that co-exist in the field are vinified together to create a sum-is-greater-than-their-parts situation.Here 87% Zinfandel is joined with small amounts of Petite Sirah, Carignan, and Syrah.The wine is then aged for 10 months in a combination of American, French, and Hungarian oak.All of this effort creates one knockout bottle of wine that is at once powerful and balanced.Classic notes of raspberry, blackberries – fresh and baked, dusty spice, and black pepper are mouth filling and bold, never sweet or overblown.And the aromatics? I’d be content to simply sniff this all day long.Others share my fondness. Wine Spectator gave the 2013 an impressive 92 points and Robert Parker,Jr. described it as“lusty.”I completely agree. Barbecue season is upon us and this is the perfect wine to pair with anything that meets the grill!