It’s almost time to start cooking outside. I’ll have to clean the old Weber, lay in a supply of charcoal — not briquettes — and fire the thing up under a steak or a brace of pork chops. When I do that, I wouldn’t mind opening a bottle of the Dry Creek Vineyards Heritage Zinfandel 2007, Sonoma County. The grapes for this wine — 87 percent zinfandel, 13 percent petite sirah — come from vineyards in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley. The wine ages nine months in American and French oak, 39 percent new barrels. The dark ruby-colored wine, almost violet-black at the center, is immediately attractive, throwing off scents of smoky black currant, blackberry and boysenberry wreathed with cloves, lilac and lavender, all laced with slate-like minerality. Yes, this zinfandel treads a bit on the exotic side, but it’s not overblown or flamboyant, maintaining balance with vivid acidity, dusty tannins and polished, spicy oak. Flavors of blackberries and plums unfurl around a core of wild berries, bitter chocolate, black pepper and, finally, briers and brambles for a slightly serious finish to a luscious yet soberly structured wine. In contrast to the soaring, sweet, hot alcohol levels of many blockbuster zinfandels, the degree here is a sensible and palatable 13.5 percent. Very Good+. About $19.

Legitimately laying claim to the adjective “venerable,” Dry Creek Vineyard was founded in 1972 by David Stare. It was the first winery built in Dry Creek Valley after Prohibition.

A sample for review.