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Monday, November 20, 2006

2005 Gnarly Head Old Vines Zinfandel

This one was going for $8 and came with praise from a friend of mine so I figured I’d pick it up.

The nose hits you with alcohol–not too shocking when it’s 14.5%. Other than that, it’s pretty green—-bell pepper in particular–which is a bit troubling.

The palate releases all fears though–blackberry, overripe strawberry, plums, some oak and spice on the palate–overall I’d call it jammy. The tannins are smooth and this is a very easy drinking wine. We’re eating it with pizza which is a great match, but I’d imagine any sort of BBQ would compliment this well. This one needs a lot of time to open up, pour your glasses at least an hour before you drink.

Without decanting, the finish has a bit of burn and fades very quickly. After letting it open for about an hour, the alcohol burn is no longer present and I get plenty of long lasting blueberry, though there’s a peculiar green taste in the background—if you’re drinking this with food it’s not detectable, but on it’s own it’s there. Present or not, it’s still a lot better with some time to open, and for $8 it’s not going to be perfect.

In spite of the minor problems, I’d say this one is strongly recommended and I’d buy it again without hesitation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wasn't sure about this wine myself, but after seeing how dark it was, I picked up a bottle. I served it with Thanksgiving dinner to rave reviews...granted, we are dealing with virgin palates, but it was a unanimous "We gotta get more of this."

I served mine chilled. The Wineauxs are correct, there is a pretty strong alcohol finish. As the meal progressed, and the wine sat out longer, this disappeared.

For what it is worth, my parents left town with three bottles.