2009 Barber Cellars “Mr. Beast” Zinfandel, Dry Creek Sonoma

Tastes like: A Dali painting. It’s complex, powerful, different and yet somehow restrained. This is a fantastic wine and it’s unlike any Zin I’ve had. On one hand, bold flavors of strawberry and black fruit hit you right away. But then comes the trip. It’s elegant with nice acidity (coming from 86% Zin, 14% Sangiovese blend). Hints of wood and leather are present giving the wine a nice round mouth feel. Lower than usual alcohol content makes the whole bottle drinkable. Bottoms up.

Feels like: Jerry Garcia emerging from a LSD trip into the partially sunny, fog infested air of San Francisco, only to be met by a Southern Bell who is strolling down the Embarcadero. They walk side by side engulfed in conversation that is not instantly recognizable, but still feels familiar.

Goes with: Finding a needle in the haystack. Around 400,000 tons of Zinfandel grapes are crushed in the U.S. each year. Whichever ones made it into this bottle were perfect. This wine may be accompanied by an obnoxious dinner guest talking about how he “discovered” this great wine, when it was actually recommended by the local wine store. In my case, the bottle was shared over a delicious brisket between me and my dad, followed by my wife barfing in the living room…completely unrelated to the wine. Cheers.