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Gnarly Head 2010 Old Vine Zin

I opened a bottle of Gnarly Head 2010 Old Vine Zin last night to pair with pasta and a red sauce. My first reaction was that it was not a Sonoma County Old Vine Zin nor a Temecula Zin. In fact, the wine tasted very similar to a Petite Sirah that I made with juice from Lodi. I would categorize my Petite Sirah as an OK table wine especially with pasta or pizza that has red sauces. However, I would never serve my Petite Sirah at a multi-course dinner with friends or family. I have similar feelings about the 2010 Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin.

Compared to a Sonoma County Zin that I cellared and oaked, the Gnarly Head was lighter in body. It offered a light translucent ruby color with aromas of dark fruit and spices. The influence of oaking trumped the fruit on the aroma. On the taste the explosion of fruit was short lived and spice kicked in. The heat from the 14.5 % alcohol paid a visit if the wine lingered in the mouth. It was the quick flash of fruit followed by prolonged spice that made me think that the wine was so similar to the 2010 Petite Sirah from Lodi juice I made last year and bottled this year.

The wine matches well with red sauced pasta and would also do well with pizza. However I see it as a daily table wine and would not serve it to guests.


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