Zinfanatics, and even those who aren't, would do well to try a pair of Zins from Haywood.
The label dropped off the radar of most wine lovers as production decreased due to financial problems, but Haywood's Zinfandels have always been classy, distinctive, balanced and reasonably priced.
A friend, Dennis Bowker, planted the vineyard in the 1980s, and it was fun to see how he determined that Zinfandel would excel on this site in southern Sonoma Valley.
Bowker is no longer a vineyard manager, but these wines remain a tribute to his ability to match the right grape to the right soil.
These two delicious Zinfandels I'm recommending come from the same Los Chamizal Vineyard.
The first, 2004 Haywood Sonoma Valley Los Chamizal Vineyard ($20, 205 cases), is made in a ripe, zesty style, with layers of dusty blackberry, blueberry and wild berry, which are fresh and vibrant, ending with a dash of spice.
The 2004 Rocky Terrace Los Chamizal Vineyard ($35, 1,207 cases) comes from a rockier, higher point in the vineyard. It exhibits ripe blackberry, cherry and wild berry flavors, and a mix of sage, underbrush and brambly, dusty berry.
It's a great Zinfandel vineyard that routinely produces excellent wine.