Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winey Tasting Notes: The Lure of the Sale! 2007 Gnarlier Head Old Vine Zin Zinfandel

I really, really didn't need another bottle of wine. I had just bought some a few days before. I wasn't even planning on using them for a dinner party or some special occasion - I just like to have a few bottles around for cooking and of course, for sipping (in between high school basketball game nights and parent group meeting nights and...I digress).

I had run into the store to grab a loaf of french bread...and there it was. Stacked shoulder high: a huge pyramid of 2007 Gnarlier Head Old Vine Zin Zinfandel. ON SALE. OK, not just a few dollars off - on sale for $15.00 off! So I could get a $25.99 bottle of wine (remember, it's Ohio and we tax everything here) for $10.99.

HOW COULD I RESIST THIS? As a person who takes more pleasure in anything bought at below retail, the thought of passing up a bottle of this wine was....really hard. Come on, I have been known to buy another 5 pack of macaroni and cheese mix cause it was on sale - when I had 4 at home. An adorable purse on sale = overflowing  purse area in closet. Shoe clearance? I don't care if they are black - they're different from all the other black shoes in the closet. So how in heaven's name was I supposed to pass up grabbing a bottle (from the top of the pyramid, thank you very much) and doing a little jig of money saving glee?

Apparently, I wasn't. Cause I'm writing the review of the wine, aren't I?

Gnarlier Head (don't you just love that name) is related to the Gnarly Head Wines.(Think well-off cousin.) No, they don't wear boarder shoes and ride on skateboards and use the word "Dude" a lot - the gnarly here refers to the knobby appearance of the old (35-80 years old) vines the grapes are grown on in the Sonoma Valley. According to the bottle label, these "grapes lead a Gnarlier life with hotter days, cooler nights and a longer growing season." That'd make me gnarlier too, I guess.

The wine began with a bouquet of coffee right upon uncorking. (Although, that may have had to with the Starbucks run my 15 year old and I had completed after basketball practice...nah.) The coffee gave way to a spicy, wood smoke smell - maybe with something a little bit minty in it?  The taste was of oak and coffee and some very, very dark fruit. It was so nice and smooth in my mouth and the finish was of cherries and blackberries that melted into some warm wood. OK, that sounds a bit like a poem, doesn't it? But this was on serious wine!

Did I like it? I did. And I will fully admit to being a bit wary of old Zinfandels...I've been oaked one too many times. This is an old zin I could fully learn to live with. That said, it really begs to be sipped with food to bring out the flavors (we had bison rib eye steak with it). It isn't a wine you pull out and just sip away to relax with. I will head back to my beloved Cabs for that I think.

$26 worth? Maybe not for me. But hey, I only paid $10.99!!!!

Worth a try if it's on sale, dude!

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