Robert Biale Black Chicken Napa Valley Zinfandel 2021
Perfecting the old California classics, Robert Biale Vineyards has become a revered standard of heritage vineyard Zinfandel and Petite Sirah in the Napa Valley. From the winery’s inception, the Biale Founders have cherished the tradition of historic old vines (some dating to the 1880s!) 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 Winemaker David Natali crafts, Black Chicken Zinfandel is the flagship–and has become a benchmark for the varietal.
It all started in the 1940s when 14-year-old Aldo Biale helped his mother 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!
Showing the influence of the breezy and fog-laced Oak Knoll District, the 2021 vintage offers rich, plush fruit, delicate acidity and a structure defined by well-ripened tannins. Layered notes of black cherry, raspberry, sandalwood, bergamot, cloves, blueberry, and balsam on the nose. Delicate, yet rich with plum compote, violets, and baking spice on the palate. An ideal vintage of the Black Chicken that, with proper cellaring, will continue to improve for the next 5-7 years.
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It has both the character and classic uniqueness of a red wine.