Frei Brothers Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2014

Deep dark color; raspberry, plum, blackberry on the nose; ripe black cherry, raspberry, black currant, caramel and mocha on the palate.

Rich, round, deliciously smooth; plenty of lusty dark ripe fruitiness; appropriate acidity for lush zin (3.74 pH); even finish with black currant notes dominant at conclusion.

Frei Brothers traces its history to 1890 in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley when Swiss immigrant Andrew Frei established the property and winery, later turning it over to his sons, Walter and Louis. The brothers adopted the name “Frei Brothers” and successfully operated the winery for more than 70 years. After the repeal of Prohibition, the Frei Vineyard caught the eye of Julio Gallo, winemaker for the rapidly expanding E. & J. Gallo Winery. When Andrew Frei’s descendants retired in the late 1970s, the Gallo family purchased Frei Ranch and further developed the vineyard.

Winegrower Scott Johnsen emphasizes sustainable agriculture. “Being ‘green’ is not about a popularity contest; it is about doing the right thing for future generations,” he says. For every acre of vineyards they own, Frei sets aside a second acre for conservation. Frei calls it “quality with a conscience.”

Frei Brothers Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2014 is smoothly delicious and delivers everything you desire in a zinfandel at this price. $16-20

Frei Brothers website

Second photo: Frei Brothers vineyard, Frei Brothers winemaker Scott Johnsen