I picked this bottle up from Goudas and Vines in Montrose, California. I recognized it from the series that Dr. Debs over at Good Wine Under $20 has going on, her profiles of wineries from the Family Winemakers tasting she attended.
The bottle is 2004 Four Vines Maverick Zinfandel from Amador County. It cost $19.95, had a real cork closure and was 14.9% alcohol by volume.
On the nose I found cloves, black pepper, dark fruit and blackberries. In the mouth there were currants, black berries, black cherries and a black pepper kick. Overall, I would describe the flavor as juicy blackberries with a black pepper bite.
I served this with steaks topped with currant jelly zinfandel sauce over a bed of 3 cheese risotto. I offered to cook one of the evening we were out visiting the in-laws and Matt seems to think the steak/risotto dish is my specialty, if I don’t have a pizza stone to make pizza with. It was a nice match to the steaks, which I had rubbed with black pepper and salt before grilling them, so that probably contributed to bringing out the pepper note in the wine. As always, I like making the sauce out of whatever wine we will be drinking as the flavors complement each other nicely. Definitely a steak or bbq wine in my opinion!