There are zins. And there are zins. But what makes one stand out above the others? For one thing, attitude. Quoting the bottle's back label: "Bold, sophisticated, with a hint of gnarly. Here's to the vines, and to a life lived boldly. These heroic old vines produce intense full flavours and deeply concentrated wine-matched only by the passions of the people who drink them. Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel is an adventurous, soulful choice, delivering a rich core of dark berry fruit, bold spice, vanilla, and lightly toasted oak. Enjoy solo or paired with BBQ ribs, steak fajitas, or hearty beef chili."
Gnarly Head lives up to its name. The gnarled, 35-80 year old vines are pruned uniquely in a chunky-topped way called 'head trained,' vines that over the years have to do one thing well- produce exceptionally full flavoured grapes. These old vines yield fewer grape clusters with smaller, mightier berries than trellised vines, producing intense, bold wines that are deep in colour with concentrated dark fruit flavours.
This fabulous example of Old Vine Zinfandel has a gnarly core of rich, dark cherry/berry flavours with layers of plum, chocolate, spice, vanilla, and pepper balanced by toasty hints of oak. Though still some time away, the best choice for a wine for the 4th of July? This one's it.