Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2003

Clos du Bois ZinfandelMaker: Clos du Bois, Geyserville, California
Price: $10
Varietal: Zinfandel
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 13.5%
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

This seems to the week for good but cheap zinfandels. The lable of Clos du Bois Zinfandel 2003 describes the wine as “bold and full bodied,” and for once the description is right on the mark. The zin greets the nose with aromas of raspberry and spice, with just a bit of a smoky overtone. The flavor is smooth and full-bodied, with a spicy plum notes that lead into a peppery finish. There’s also a pleasant hint of acidity at the very end. This is a robust wine with plenty of fruit, but with other elements that add balance and complexity. I’d recommend it pairing it with grilled T-bones or hearty lasagna.

Clos du Bois has been making wines in Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley for more than thirty years. Their website tells the story of the winery’s Frenchified name:

The name … reportedly originates from founder Frank Woods’ plan to name the new winery “Woods Vineyard.” His children, who were studying French at the time, suggested the more exotic “Clos du Bois” instead, which loosely translates to “enclosure in the woods.”

Clos du Bois has been invigorated by the addition of winemaker Erik Olsen in 2003. Not only is his academic background impeccable – a BS in Fermentation Science from UC Davis, an MS in Food Science from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Washington – but the guy can make wines, too. His 2000 Single Berry Select Riesling at Chateau Ste. Michelle scored an amazing 98 points from Wine Spectator. This zin won’t score quite that well, but it will rank just fine with your guests at your next dinner or cookout.

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