Over the last year or so I’ve done some ranting about zinfandel blends and how I see a growing demand for these wines. Apothic Red is one incredibly popular example of this style of wine appealing to consumers and now Gnarly Head has come out with their own answer to the zinfandel blend with Authentic Red.
Gnarly Head Authentic Red hails from Lodi, California, which I consider to be the zinfandel capital of the world. There’s something about Lodi that just makes it an ideal location for zinfandel. It could be the climate, it could be the soil, it could be the people… but it’s probably a combination of those. And, what’s more, 2010 was a great year for Lodi zinfandel.
OK… so, I’m going on about the zinfandel part of this, but that’s not all that’s in this wine. The blend here is 50% zinfandel, 20% merlot, 17% cabernet sauvignon, 10% petite sirah and 3% syrah.
The nose on this wine is intense and beautiful, with cherry cola, blackberry and spice aromas. The palate is fruit-forward—very fruit-forward—with rich, juicy blackberry, black cherry and blueberry flavors. In a way, it’s almost like a slice of blueberry pie. While I wouldn’t call this a sweet wine, there is a definite sweetness to the fruit flavors. On the mid-palate, dark chocolate flavors show up to the party. The acidity is good and the mouthfeel is nice. It finishes long with lingering chocolate and black cherry flavors.
This isn’t a wine that’s going to appeal to snobs looking for a refined and elegant wine. This is a casual, fun wine with bold flavors that are intense enough to stand up to rich foods like barbecue or burgers. Those looking for a rich, juicy, fruit-forward wine will love this one.
Wine: Gnarly Head Authentic Red
Variety: Zinfandel blend
Find Gnarly Head Authentic Red with Snooth
Disclosure: This wine was received as a sample.