Bordeaux. Champagne. The River Oja. The Columbia Valley. Your apartment. The list brings to mind some of the world's most closely held encounters with wine, with the last one evoking some pivotal moments that could play on the economies of the other four—which are among the greatest grape-growing regions in the world, and their traditions and reputations, unlike those at your house, are beyond reproach.
But who told the guys who run 'em that the best of the best had to come from a single spot? Certainly not the peeps over at The Hess Collection Winery. This company's Napa office serves up one mean 2005 Zinfandel called Artezin, and it comes from not one but three regions—Napa County's Allomi area, the Su'Skol portion of San Pablo Bay and the Napa Valley's Mount Veeder Winery. Artezin is thus born of a curious mix of soil sediments and weather, resulting in an overwhelmingly fruity taste. You might not even like this one unless you're ready to sit down to a big fat meal with it—by itself, the effect is diffuse and almost oily.But if you have an adequate food accompaniment (and only $17.99 to go with it at better wine stores), Artezin is an entry for you. The big guns at those other places have earned their great reputations a dozen times over; but in their own way, Artezin and the Hess people go them two better.