Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2021 Robert Biale Vineyards Zinfandel Black Chicken

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The June Zinfandel of the Month is the 2021 Robert Biale Vineyards Zinfandel Black Chicken.

I chose this wine as Zinfandel of the Month when the winery recently sent me some samples. I’ve been enjoying the Biale Zins since not long after they were founded and they have always been one of the best Zin producers in the state.

Robert Biale Vineyards in Napa has its roots in the 1930s, when the Biale family started growing Zinfandel grapes and other produce on the outskirts of Napa. The family grapes mostly were sold to local wineries, though the Biales saved some to make wine for the family. The winery was formally founded in 1991. The estate grows Zinfandel and Petite Sirah on 25 acres in Napa Valley.

The heart of this wine is sourced from vineyards in the Oak Knoll District, among them the same family vineyard Aldo, Nonna, Bob and the Biale family have farmed their whole lives. Back in the 1940’s, Aldo Biale and his mother Christina ran a small farm and vineyard with hundreds of white leghorn chickens. A “black chicken” became the code name for a jug of Aldo’s private Zinfandel.

Crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. The nose on this wine seemingly explodes from the glass. Scents of red and black fruits, baking spices and white pepper. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Silky, smooth and well balanced. Black cherry, raspberry liqueur, cloves and pepper on the palate. The finish is very long and supple. Charming Zinfandel that drinks well now but has the structure to age well. Best over the next 3-5 years. $55 at the winery and retail.

My rating: 94 points.

This review was based on a sample provided by the winery.

Biale deserves to be mentioned with the likes of Carlisle, Ridge and Turley when discussing California Zinfandel. The wines are widely available at retail but you will get a slight discount with a Biale membership. I look forward to visiting on my next trip to Napa.

My rating: 94 points.

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