We had a delightful, long-beloved houseguest over the weekend, and a dinner party Sunday with some of our closest friends to celebrate his visit. One of the wines we served was the Napa Wine Company 2002 Zinfandel. Its nose was big and velvety, its taste on the front of the tongue slightly spicy before it filled the mouth with lush fruit, mostly reminiscent of raspberry. I certainly favor lush zins over resinous zins, and this was a good, big one. So big and soft, in fact, that I think I would have enjoyed it more as a sipping wine than with food; the tasting notes recommend lamb or pork ribs, but we served it with grilled steaks.
I also thought it was pretty good value at $19.99, although not great value, worth a try if you like new-world-style reds.
Also, please note that yesterday while nursing a headache I edited the left links, and incorporated a link to Professor Bainbridge on Wine, who has more experience than I do, tends to drink better wine than I do, and has slightly different tastes. All of which make for good reading.
UPDATE: Stephen refers to a an LA Times story on Rhone-style blends from Paso Robles (registration required). Rhone blends are my favorite, especially those involving mourvedre, syrah and grenache. The article recommends wines from Tablas Creek Vineyards, Villa Creek (I like the name Avenger for their blend!), and Linne Calodo, whose blend is of syrah, mourvedre, and zinfandel instead of grenache (and called Cherry Red to boot, I love cherries!). They also have an LC Red that is a more traditional Rhone blend.