The 2010 Gnarly Head Authentic Red is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Syrah sourced from the vineyards of long term contract growers in Lodi, California. The 2010 vintage provided a long, cool growing season, which is ideal for developing complex. fully ripe grapes. The Zinfandel portion of the blend was taken from some of the oldest Zinfandel vineyards in California. The name Gnarly Head comes from these old head pruned (the vines are trained into a bush with the grape clusters on top, the grapes get more sunlight and you don’t have to bend down as much to prune and pick the grapes) Zinfandel vines that were first planted in Lodi by Italian immigrants decades ago. Gnarly Head is one of Delicato Family Vineyards stable of wines. The wine sees some sort of oak seasoning from both French and American oak. The concept behind the Authentic Wines is a balanced, elegant Blend that is still true the bold, rough and ready character of Lodi grapes. The alcohol content is either 13.5% (as on the Gnarly Head tech sheet) or 14.5% (as on the bottle).
The color is cranberry red with ruby highlights. The nose is dark berries, cocoa powder and licorice. This blend starts off soft and smooth, with bold flavors and a spicy mid palate. Juicy blackberry begins things, then come some fudge, rich cherries and slightly tart raspberry. The mid palate shows plum followed by a slap of Altoid’s spice and cinnamon Red Hots (though nowhere near as strong as the little candies). The tannins are hidden in the mix and the acidity is nicely balanced, the Blend has a solid backbone for all the rich flavors to hang on to. The finish is fairly full and long.
The Gnarly Head Authentic Red is a BBQ wine for those who know good BBQ and know good wine. If you are serving Mediterranean food, get a wine from Italy or Spain, if your menu offers classic French cuisine, then Bordeaux or Burgundy and if you are chowing down on some of the best BBQ known to man, then hit up a Lodi Red. Trust me, the sauce and all those caramelized bits go way better with Red wine than they do with beer. The Gnarly Head Authentic Red exhibits more structure than you usually see from a value priced Red and all the flavor that make those blends do much fun. Hey all you BBQ joints out there, that are looking for a House Red, I got one for you.