Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2010
Zinfandel from California
Gnarly Head 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel is made from gnarled 35 to 80 year-old head trained vines. Fruit from these unruly branches is intense and powerful, and as some of the oldest in California, these brash old vines produce exceptional, full flavored grapes. The intrepid Old Vine Zinfandel has a gnarly core of rich, dark raspberry and black cherry flavors with layers of spice and chocolate balanced by complex French and American oak toast. Try pairing this wine with braised short ribs, chicken enchiladas, or dark chocolate.
Tasting Panel - "Ripe and sweet with wild spice and rich fruit; intense and a bit coarse - but a style that people like."
Gnarly Head Winery
My first impression, as the truck pulled up to the eighty year old Zinfandel vineyards, was, "Wow, those vines sure have some gnarly heads!" Thus began a fifteen year love affair with the Old Vine Zinfandel.
The older Zin vineyards in California were planted before the use of modern trellising techniques and were "head pruned", meaning the shoots that eventually produce the grapes grow directly out of the head of the trunk. The resulting vines look more like a bush than the normally well-manicured rows of neatly trained along posts and wires – and they do have "Gnarly Heads". View all Gnarly Head Wines
About Other California
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few. Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4 }div>4 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 5
- 4 Stars: 2
- 3 Stars: 1
- 2 Stars: 1
- 1 Stars: 0
10 ratings, 4 with reviewskpyrce - Napa, CA510/1/2012
I love this wine! Hands down the best Zin out there. My favorite for this time of yearWine Drinker 68 - Mission Viejo, CA59/24/2012My go-to wine - LOVE IT - found it a few years ago at a tasting in New Mexico. BIG Fruit, massive body, nothing not to like. I fire up the grill just to crack open a bottle. Have found other wines they make to be just as good. - on my list of can't go wrong wines.mattjackson13 - Manteca, CA29/24/2012Alpha-Omega Wine - Napa, CA59/17/2012
- Big & Bold
This is great wine for the price. Hard to beat the depth of flavors and the smooth quality. Great value! I drink a bottle every week!Scott R - Sellersville, PA49/9/2012PBL369 - San Antonio, TX58/14/2012I am typically a Chardonnay drinker, but Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel was referred by a friend and I'm glad he did. I'm ordering more today.Rjonesfwc - Brentwood, CA56/11/2012William Lau - Jersey City, NJ42/2/2012trob - Perryville, AR31/24/2012
- Earthy & Spicy
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: