If I see Joel Gott on a wine store shelf of zinfandels, the game is over. Joel Gott is a small California winery focusing on value as well as excellence—and what a pedigree. Gott himself is the grandson of a winemaker at Inglenook in the sixties and seventies; his father founded Montevina; and his wife, Sarah, is a former winemaker at Joseph Phelps. Their 2006 Joel Gott zinfandel ($14), a blend of grapes from four California regions, is ripe with flavors of pepper and cherries behind a long finish. Just try to find another good zin at that price.

Photography: Michael Boone Photography