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.