Booze Review

Wine Review – Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2007

And now for something completely different …….

The genesis of It’s Just The Booze Dancing was for a bunch guys to share their thoughts on Whisk(e)y.  Over time it’s evolved into a blog about the “finer things” in life: Rum, Whiskey, Beer, Cocktails, Gadgets, Recipes, Travel, and Restaurants.  So let’s add one more “finer thing” … Wine.

When the summer grilling season kicks in I reach for a nice glass of wine as often as I reach for an ice cold craft beer.  One of my favorite wines to pair with grilled food is Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel.

There is nothing not to like about this wine.  Big bold flavor, itty bitty price tag ($10-12).  Great consistency across all the vintages I’ve tried.

From the vineyard:

“Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel makes a bold statement at first sip. Our quest for outstanding Zinfandel led us down a country road into the heart of Lodi, California revealing a sea of gnarled, 35 – 80 year-old vines pruned in a special, mop-topped way called “head trained”. True gnarly heads, these old vines yield fewer grape clusters with smaller berries than trellised vines. These mighty little berries produce intense, bold wines that are deep in color with concentrated dark fruit flavors.”

My observations:

  • Appearance: Deep rich purple-red with long legs
  • Aroma: All fruit (currants, blackberry, cherries) with little hint of the spicy flavor to come
  • Taste:  Intense flavors and a texture that coats the entire mouth.   This one starts with the fruit up front (mostly cherries, followed by currants and blackberrys).  Then it shifts to spice and chocolate on the tongue.  The finish is long and slightly astringent to give a nice tart lip smacking finish to the fruity start.
  • ABV:  14.5%

So if you are looking for a budget friendly wine with big bold flavors give this one a try.  For the best experience serve this wine chilled just below room temp and pair with rich grilled lamb, wild game, or maybe a spicy chili.

7 replies »

  1. In the past that brand has boasted up to 16 percent alcohol. One glass about floored my wife with a light meal. I’m glad they scaled back somewhat. We really like Dry Creek zins, but that’s not even in the same price category! You can find this one on sale quite a bit too.


    • The Bogle OV Zin is also fantastic – same price point as the Gnarly Head, great rating.

      Rufus, the Dry Creek Zins are AMAZING. I really like Seghezio (spelling?) as well when I can afford to throw the money at it. And I’m with you in the happiness that winemakers are starting to dial back the alcohol a bit. One glass of wine with food should not be knocking one over.


      • Had a bottle of Dry Creek’s 2007 Somers Ranch Zinfandel recently at a family dinner and it was pretty darn good. I have not tried anything else from Dry Creek so I must do some “research” drinking.

        I have not tried the Bogle OV Zin probably because I have been hit-or-miss with reds from Bogle and tend to stay away from them. I do like their Chardonnay when I am looking for a basic cheap Chard.


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