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ArtsieAng
04-27-2008, 09:17 AM
Red Wine for Barbecues
The perfect barbecue wine shouldn't just be a fruit-bomb

Like the wines listed on this page, it should balance robust fruit flavor with rich tannins and firm acidity, making it the ideal match for platters of juicy, smoky grilled meat.

2004 Pepperwood Grove Zinfandel ($8) After leaving his family's historic Sebastiani property in 2000, Don Sebastiani started his own winery in Sonoma, producing several different brands, including Pepperwood Grove. All of them focus on high-quality value-oriented wines, like this spicy, vibrant Zinfandel.

2004 Rocky Gully Shiraz-Viognier ($14) Rocky Gully is a second label for Frankland Estate, one of Western Australia's top wine producers. This peppery, red-berry-rich Shiraz is made with 5 percent Viognier, which helps accentuate the wine's aromas and intensify its brilliant purple color.

2004 Frontier Red Lot No. 51 ($10) At the Fess Parker winery in Los Olivos, California, winemaker Blair Fox blends an impressive 11 varietals—Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre and seven more—into a seamless whole in this rich red, full of blackberry and dark chocolate flavors.

2003 Santadi Grotta Rossa ($11) Santadi's craggy vineyards are only a few miles from the sand beaches of Porto Pino, in southwestern Sardinia, but they feel like they should be several hundred miles from water. Yet they're ideal for the Carignane variety, as shown by this velvety red.

2004 Woop Woop Shiraz ($11) Star Australian winemaker Ben Riggs makes this bacony, raspberry-rich Shiraz with fruit from some of Australia's top regions, including McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek. Woop Woop? It's an Aussie term for the middle of nowhere.

2002 DiBruno Santa Barbara County Sangiovese ($20) In December, longtime winemaker Bruno D'Alfonso parted company with Santa Barbara County's Sanford Winery, leaving him free to concentrate on his own wines. This superb Sangiovese combines firm tannins with vivid cherry fruit flavor.

2004 Alamos Malbec ($10) Bodega Catena Zapata, one of Argentina's top wineries, produces the Alamos line of affordable wines using grapes from high-altitude vineyards in the Mendoza region, which is in the shadow of the Andes. This powerful Malbec is full of blueberry and blackberry flavors.

2003 Dashe Cellars Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($22) Michael Dashe, who honed his Zinfandel-making skills at California's famed Ridge Vineyards in the '90s, produces one of the most impressive Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels around. The '03 tastes like ripe blackberries, laced with black pepper and clove.

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