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This Zinfandel recalls Aldo Biale's old family ordering system where customers called on the party line to order eggs, produce, and 'black chickens' - bottles of wine from Aldo's private barrels. The Biale family, immigrants from Northern Italy, began growing exclusively Zinfandel grapes in Napa in the 1930's. Zinfandel, California's adopted grape, was widely planted by immigrants throughout the state's history as a highly flavorful red grape well-suited for the climate. Each harvest, the Biale's fruit was routinely sold for bulk wine. For decades before the global demand for Napa Valley wine, one winery, the Napa Valley Co-Op winery, processed almost half of Napa's grapes. Before big companies moved in, most of Napa's fruit was grown by local farmers like the Biales. In fact, prunes and walnuts were as valuable as grapes in those days, and the Biale farm produced its share along with eggs and vegetables. Committed to the tradition of farming grapes, the Biales decided in 1991 to form a partnership with the goal of producing a world-class wine from the oldest Zinfandel vines on the ranch. The team consists of Al Perry for winemaking, Dave Pramuk for Marketing and longtime farmers Aldo and Bob Biale for vineyard management.
Wine AdvocateLastly, the 2014 Zinfandel Black Chicken (its name coming from the code name used when ordering a jug of Zinfandel during the Prohibition era) is another relatively big-boned Zinfandel at 15.3% alcohol. Gorgeously proportioned, textured and almost chewy, this stunningly hedonistic and fleshy, flamboyant Zinfandel delivers abundant glycerin, fruit, quality and personality. Drink it over the next 7-8 years.
Wine EnthusiastThis must-have wine from the producer is always fun, a celebration of bright, juicy acidity and softly rendered dried lavender. Seamless on the palate, it will please fans of the variety and bring new ones into the fold, alluring in its smoky leather, white pepper and depth of blackberry.