How great to taste a zinfandel that’s not over-the-top with super ripeness or that doesn’t employ slash-and-burn tannins!

Francis Ford Copploa’s Director’s Cut Zinfandel 2006, Dry Creek Valley, with its distinctive filmstrip label, is balanced and harmonious and packed with spicy black fruit flavors. Nicely framed by slightly toasty oak — half new French barrels, half one- and two-year-old — this classically styled zinfandel features blackberry, black currant and blueberry scents and flavors enlivened with hints of clove and sandalwood and a touch of port-like jam. The wine is rich without being overblown, and it’s wrapped around a core of intense licorice, lavender and minerals. Tannins are smooth and polished, bringing up characteristic elements of briers and brambles and a clean, minerally finish. We drank this with pizza, but it would be great with a variety of braised meat dishes or steaks and chops. Excellent. About $22.