A quintessential example of Napa Valley Zinfandel using grapes from 40+ vineyards from Napa and Sonoma County in California. Bob Biale - a true farmer at heart - works with winemaker/bass player Tres Goetting to blend Old World techniques and sensibilities with a certain rock and roll confidence that says, "This is the way Zinfandel is supposed to taste".
Smooth and distinctly dry for California Zinfandel. Velvety body of bright raspberry and vanilla mellows to notes of smoke and cedar. Tannins linger. Excellent with tri-tip sandwiches, smoked portabella mushrooms, and gnocchi in red sauce.
- R. Exton
From Robert Biale Vineyards:
About Robert Biale Vineyards: Sourced from the same family vineyard that Aldo, Nonna, Bob Biale and the Biale family have farmed their whole lives, with additional grapes from our neighboring winery vineyard in the Oak Knoll District, Black Chicken stands as the ultimate expression of Zinfandel from the cool southern Napa Valley, and perhaps the most famous icon of Napa Valley Zinfandel in general.
Vintage Notes: A long, warm summer and mild finish to the season. The beginning of the 2019 growing season was defined by copious rainfall and late soil moisture. The long, warm summer saw very few extreme heat events, with foggy mornings setting the stage for vibrant and expressive wines. The long, relatively mild finish to the season, not without its moments of unpredictability, helped to preserve freshness and finesse in the fruit with abundant hang time teasing out great color, structure and soft tannins. Volume is looking to be about average to a little less than average. All in all, exceptional fruit with bright acidity and ample texture promises an amazing vintage.
Harvest Dates: 9-10-19 to 10-3-19
Winemaking: Our winemaking begins in the vineyard with meticulous attention to detail and close monitoring by Bob Biale and winemaker Tres Goetting. The winemaking philosophy is to grow our wines concentrating our efforts all season long in the vineyard so that when the fruit arrives into the cellar, only minimalistic vinification is needed. We want the wines to speak of the soils from which they were grown. At harvest, the fruit is hand-picked and hand sorted to ensure that only the best fruit makes it into the fermenter. The grapes are then crushed and gravity fed into open top tanks. The must is cold soaked for 2 to 4 days at 50˚F. We then inoculate the must with commercial yeast strains. For color and tannin extraction, we do 2 to 3 punch downs per day. Fermentation is usually complete after 14 to 16 days at a maximum temperature of 86˚F. At dryness, we lightly press to 100% Burgundy oak barrels of which 20% are new. Malolactic fermentation is completed in the barrels. The wine was aged in barrels for fourteen months.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: Sourced primarily from Biale’s estate vineyards in the Oak Knoll district, this wine is round and plush with a gentle grip of perfectly ripe tannins. A spectrum of red and dark fruits – raspberries, cherries, blackberries, bright vivid aromas, fine-grained texture, star anise, black and white pepper, cocoa, subtle nuanced oak. Age worthy, compelling, decadent: a beautifully proportioned Napa Valley Zinfandel. If cellared well, this wine will continue to improve for the next 3-5 years.