Saturday, September 9, 2017

Review & Rating: ***+ $ Gnarly Head Authentic Black, Lodi, California, 2014 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Gnarly Head Authentic Black.

Original tasting and review : This is Gnarly Head Authentic Black, Lodi, California, 2014, finished at 14.5% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in September, 2017.  This is one of a number of "ambiguously vinted" value-priced red wine blends with higher alcohol levels.   Only the fact of aging for more than 12 months is disclosed on the label.  No grape varietals.  No hint of what it was aged in.  Nope.  You're on your own.  (From the appellation  designation of "Lodi, California," you do know the general region from which the mystery grapes originate.) On the winery's web site, you will find the additional hint that the wine was fermented in stainless and then aged in French and American oak of indeterminate age.  Still no hint of varietals.

Inspired by this wine: Walking along the river bank, we sit to skip some stones across the quiet, muddy waters. 

In the glass: Black magenta, opaque from about a quarter inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep, hushed, almost-muddy fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be dry and tight.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much rounder, bolder and voluptuous than anticipated.  Beefy deep blackberry and ripe red raspberries bring depth and brightness.  Finishes with some sweetness and solid, surrounding, furry tannins.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale with a big plus for its palate of flavors and textures.   With more aromatics, would have been an easy four-star catch.  This is a best-value at its attractive price point.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Gnarly Head Authentic Black.

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