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2008 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel

December 3, 2010 - Norman Bentley

Old vines mean great wine! The 2008 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel really isn't great, just really good, but when you factor in the under ten dollar price, it is a great buy! The noted wine writer Wilford Wong scored it an 87 and said, "A joyous, table wine zin, the easy drinking '08 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin has plenty of character but without hard tannins that often make the older vines too hard; finishes well."

This is a hearty Zinfandel with aromas of blackberry, which sail into flavors of spice and rich laryers of dark berries. The finish has oak in it, but not overpowering, with jammy and peppery notes at the end. This wonderful Zinfandel is smooth enough for a plate of spaghetti, but with enough backbone to stand up to barbecued venison, or any other hearty meat dish.

Someone once asked me what was the best wine for barbecue, and I replied, beer or sweet ice tea. That was before my first taste of an old vine Zinfandel! The Gnarly Head old vines are grown down in Lodi, California, and are between 35 and 80 years old. They produce smaller quantities of grapes with more intense juice, which is the perfect match for any barbecue except chicken. The wine is just a little too powerful for chicken, but as I said before, it is great with spaghetti! Norm's score is 89.

Price - $8 - $10

Score - 89



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