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Add a touch of 'Gnarly' with your grill

Summertime is Gnarly time
Summertime is Gnarly time
Julia Hollister

Gnarly Head’s approach to winemaking is simple: all wines are crafted with California’s spirit of adventure and each sip plunges the palate into bold fruit flavors.

The 2012 pinot noir ($14) takes “the heartbreak grape” for a walk on the wild side. The fruit for this exceptional varietal came from California growing regions notorious for growing great pinot noir: the North Coast, Monterey and Lodi. Each area brought a different layer to the overall blend. The Lodi region provided the bold backbone, North Coast grapes brought a wild element of smoky, savory aromas and flavors while Monterey fruit contributed pure, ripe Bing cherry characteristic.

This bold vintage produced a bountiful crop of exceptional quality. Grapes for this varietal were harvested in the cool hours around dawn, delivered immediately to the winery and allowed to rest before beginning fermentation. The resulting wine is a pinot noir that punches well above its weight in true Gnarly Head fashion.

It is a powerful varietal boasts voluptuous aromas of red cherry, vanilla, earth and spice followed by a cascade of black cherry with hints of toasted hazelnut, tobacco and cigar box on the palate.

Supple, sleek tannins and lush fruit make this versatile wine a perfect match for salami and basil pizza, slow roasted pork loin or baked chicken stuffed with sausage and peppers.

The label carries the mantra of the bold wine in the bottle: “Here’s to the vines and to a life lived boldly. These heroic vines produce intense fruit flavors that are matched only by the passions of the people who drink them.”

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