Home Wine Regions Californian Wine Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin

I love reading wine labels, particularly when winemakers take the time, and make the investment to tell you a little about their wine.  Gnarly Head, takes the time.  And if you’ve read my post on Gnarly Head 2009 Chardonnay, you know how I feel about the Gnarly Head Brand.  I’m a fan.  I’m also a fan of Old Vine Zin’s from Lodi.

Wow, just like that, a lead-off triple……but hold on a second.  What’s with the love fest?  I haven’t even tasted the wine.  Ok, quick side note – the day I received this wine, my wife literally comes home from the grocery with 2 bottles of Gnarly Head 2008 Old Vine Zin.  I smell bias, don’t you?  Well before you start thinking it, let me assure you that when it comes to reviewing wines, it’s what’s in the bottle that counts.  So let’s see what is underneath the label, shall we?

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin

This Zin has a really nice, rich nose indicative of Old Vine Zin.  It’s complex, starting off with cherry jam and vanilla, revealing darker berry fruit, white pepper and mild coffee with hints of anise as the wine opens up.  Label accuracy – check.  On the palate, the wine offers a good balance of dark cherry fruit, toasted vanilla oak and acidity, with a good backbone of tannins leading to a long, if only slightly astringent finish.   I am, however, having a difficult time discerning any influence from French oak as the label suggests.  The wine lacks some lushness in fruit, and intensity, but honestly, it’s hard to expect that at this price range.

Overall, Gnarly Head has produced a really good value here with this Old Vine Zin.  Which makes me wonder – could my wife actually be spending our money wisely.  That, my friends, would be a home run.

A  Salute!

Wine: Gnarly Head
Variety: Zinfandel
Vintage: 2008
Alcohol: 14.5%
Rating: 87
Price: $10.00

Find Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin with Snooth

Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.

9 replies to this post
  1. Sean, I like serving Zin’s with grilled items, particularly grilled pork or chicken, although some Zin’s are certainly powerful enough to pair with red meat. Might I suggest a grilled marinated pork loin with some pan roasted redskin potatoes. Enjoy!

  2. My husband is a huge Zin fan, and we discovered this wine about one year ago. We love it for the price and that is has some good Zin qualities that we love with a good old fashion hamburger on the grill meal. Tonight we are tasting a Zin with pasta and grilled Italian suasage. Thanks for the review and post.

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Renee. I agree, this is a nice zin for burgers. Cheers!

  4. Local store in the Chicago burbs has it on sale for 7.00. You cannnot find a better deal a wine this much character!

  5. The Zin is my favorite wine along with Kaiden Malbec. I never get to taste all the things they describe in wines, but enjoy them for their body, their taste and the enjoyment that lasts after each sip (or swallow). I resent all those references based on price. Put in a bottle with a higher price and those people (often called wine snobs) would think it was much better. The Zin is not a good wine for the price – IT IS A GOOD WINE.

  6. Happened to have a glass at a friends camp on Otisco Lake, upsatae NY Found it to be delicious as I am partial to Zin’s. Visit CA during the winter months. plan to visit in 13′. Mailing my reciepts for the bottles that I had purchased. I’ve told my friends and family how much I enjoyed your wine.

  7. Hey, Calista. Thanks for the vote of confidence on this wine. What other zins do you like?

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