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Covert Farms Spakling Zinfandel 2108 $32

I've been on a huge Lambrusco kick of late (Medici Ermite's Concerto is a near perfect under $20 wine) and that's led to be a secondary kick on sparkling rosés that have a bit more heft. There's the sparkling gamays from Bella that are... awesome.  And then there's this wonderful surprise from Covert Farms. I'm a big fan of Covert Farms: we ran a big spread on them a few years back as the main feature in our Okanagan issue and, for me they've always been at the forefront of the no BS-school of winemaking. Nothing slick, nothing overly fancy—exactly how you want serious farmers to make wine.

But Sparkling Zinfandel? There's body and then there's the grape best known for making sledgehammer reds in California. Well, in Gene Covert's hands this linebacker of a grape seems more like a ballerina: less than 10 percent alcohol (I assumed most Zinfandel hit 10 percent in late May), natural fermentation in the bottle (that's the Pet Nat you hear so much about these days) and a crisp and light profile with some peach and light honeycomb notes. I'd say it's a perfect summer wine, but it will be long sold out by then and besides—in the grips of January I need something fresh and lively to keep me going.