Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2015
Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel is made using grapes sourced from gnarled 35-80 year old head trained vines. As some of the oldest vines in California, the fruit produced is exceptional, intense and full-flavored. This intrepid Old Vine Zinfandel has a gnarly core of rich, jammy blackberries and mocha flavors with layers of spice and vanilla balanced by complex French and American oak toast. Try pairing this bold wine with braised short ribs, chicken enchiladas or dark chocolate.
Gnarly Head wines began with a vision and a vine. In 2004, on a mission to make a serious Zinfandel, the winemakers journeyed to Lodi in central California in search of the famed old vine Zinfandel vineyards. Grown in the head-trained, spur-pruned method for over a century, these vigorous gnarled vines produced more ripened red fruit than they had ever seen. But Zinfandel is not the only grape that can be Gnarly. Their winemakers select grapes from some of the best vineyards in Northern California to produce wines in their Gnarly house style--big and juicy.
Positioned between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Lodi appellation, while relatively far inland, is able to maintain a classic Mediterranean climate featuring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. This is because the appellation is uniquely situated at the end of the Sacramento River Delta, which brings chilly, afternoon “delta breezes” to the area during the growing season.
Lodi is a premier source of 100+ year old ancient Zinfandel vineyards—some dating back as far as 1888! With low yields of small berries, these heritage vines produce complex and bold wines, concentrated in rich and voluptuous, dark fruit.
But Lodi doesn’t just produce Zinfandel; in fact, the appellation produces high quality wines from over 100 different grape varieties. Among them are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc as well as some of California's more rare and unique grapes. Lodi is recognized as an ideal spot for growing Spanish varieties like Albarino and Tempranillo, Portugese varieties—namely Touriga Nacional—as well as many German, Italian and French varieties.
Soil types vary widely among Lodi’s seven sub-appellations (Cosumnes River, Alta Mesa, Deer Creek Hills, Borden Ranch, Jahant, Clements Hills and Mokelumne River). The eastern hills are clay-based and rocky and in the west, along the Mokelumne and Cosumnes Rivers, sandy and mineral-heavy soils support the majority of Lodi’s century-old own-rooted Zinfandel vineyards. Unique to Lodi are pink Rocklin-Jahant loam soils, mainly found in the Jahant sub-appellation.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured it’s title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the states’ diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, which sourced a journey to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.