Robert Biale Vineyards Grande Vineyard Zinfandel 2009
Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
The old vines whose grapes were sold for decades to larger wineries for blending, today produce a singular Biale Zinfandel of sinewy strength and deep classic Zinfandel character: blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries, plum, peppercorn, dried orange peel, nutmeg, clove come together with a flourish on a firm and fresh snappy palate and ripe fleshy tannins. To drink this wine is to experience what decades of loving labor can do for a great site. Grande indeed.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright red-ruby. Crushed blueberry, black plum, pepper and spices on the slightly high-toned nose; a real essence of zinfandel. Silky on entry, then quite tight and unforthcoming in the middle, showing imploded flavors of black fruits, bitter chocolate and peppery spices. Finishes with very smooth tannins that showed a slightly edgy quality with aeration. Impressive but very young zinfandel, in need of bottle aging.
Rating: 90(+?) "
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Zinfandel Grande Vineyard is another striking wine. It is less obvious than some of the other Zinfandels in the lineup. The Grande Vineyard is deceptively medium in body, but there is plenty of fruit and just as much character in the glass. Mint, tobacco and dried flowers add shades of nuance to the dark red fruit on the refined finish."
Robert Biale Vineyards
The Biale Zinfandel tradition began in the 1930's when Pietro Biale, an immigrant from Genoa, began planting Zinfandel (a variety we now know is from Croatia and a favorite of pioneer California winemakers) on his farm in the town of Napa in 1937.
Since that first commercial vintage in 1991 the winery has created a series of a dozen small-vineyard Zinfandels from other historic family vineyards in Napa and Sonoma and, under the direction of new winemaker Steve Hall, has become regarded by collectors, "Zin geeks", authors, wine writers, and sommeliers as among the very finest and most sought after producers of Zinfandel - being dubbed in 2010 by Wine Spectator as Zinfandel Grand Masters. The experts concur: Biale, along with a few select producers, has elevated California Zinfandel to that of internationally recognized status. View all Robert Biale Vineyards Wines
About Other CaliforniaView a map of Other California wineries
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.
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