Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel 2016
Perfecting the old California classics, Robert Biale Vineyards has become a revered standard of heritage Vineyard Zinfandel and Petite Sirah in Napa Valley. Napa natives, school chums, and winery Founders, Bob Biale and Dave Pramuk, cherish the tradition of historic old vines (some dating to the 1880’s!) and prize the small quantity of concentrated and intense fruit that they produce. Diligent farming, expressive terroir, and superb elegance are the winery’s hallmarks. Among the winery’s portfolio of 20 wines that are crafted by winemaker Tres Goetting, Black Chicken Zinfandel is the flagship – and has become a benchmark for the varietal.
It all started in the 1940’s when 14-year-old Aldo Biale helped his mother to make ends meet by selling to insider Napans – along with eggs and produce -some of the family’s homemade Zinfandel. Over the old “party line” phone system, the code words “a Black Chicken” signified a jug of bootleg wine…and kept nosy neighbors and the authorities from finding out about Aldo’s underground Zinfandel operation!
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.