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The Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020 Grateful Dead Limited Edition is sourced from 35 to 80 years old vines from vineyards located throughout the Lodi AVA but mainly in the Mokelumne River area. The Mokelumne River Valley flows from the Delta river valleys connected to San Pablo Bay to the west. The San Pablo Bay allows cool winds to flow into the Lodi delta and brings a cool climate that allows grape vines to prosper in an otherwise hot region.
Gnarly Head is one of the core brands from Delicato Family Vineyards, family-owned in Lodi since 1925. Delicato recently purchased Coppola wines. The term gnarly head refers to how the grape vines are pruned to resemble bushes or shrubs. The older vines will have thick trunks with several twisted branches coming from the top of the vine.
The Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020 Grateful Dead Limited Edition seems to be a packaging limited edition and not a separate wine from the regular Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel. The list price is two dollars more than the regular Zinfandel, but their website offers no difference in the wines.
I found this wine for $8.99 (list $12.99) and in the same bin at the wine shop as the regular Gnarly Head Lodi Zinfandel. The Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020 Grateful Dead Limited Edition may well be available at other stores at no increase in price, which is not a bad deal if you are a Grateful Dead fan looking for unique Dead merchandise.
Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel is classic value-priced Lodi ZIn, rich and jammy with loads of flavor. It is one of those wines that their website says is aged “on” French and American oak for some time. Do they pour the wine on a barrel rather than into a barrel? There are several ways of incorporating oak influence into a wine that does not include barrels, but you will never find winery technical notes to say they used those alternative methods. The alcohol content is typical for a Lodi Zin at 14.5%.
The Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020 Grateful Dead Limited Edition Tasting Notes
The color is opaque black cherry red. The nose is ripe blackberry, licorice, black pepper, and spice, with a floral edge. The Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020 Grateful Dead Limited Edition has deep dark berry flavors with excellent spice.
This Zinfandel tastes like extracted blackberry, sweet blueberry, licorice, black pepper, and sharp spice. The mid-palate brings plums, a little vanilla, a hint of milk chocolate, and a late blast of spice. The tannins are soft and sweet and the acidity is balanced. This is a classic value-priced Lodi Zinfandel a combination of a more rustic Zin with refined and elegant Zinfandel.
- The Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2020 Grateful Dead Limited Edition is a fun, juicy, tasty Zin that also happens to be an affordable Grateful Dead keepsake.
- If you are one of Jerry’s Kids it is a must-buy.
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