Gnarly Head’s 1924 Double Black Red Wine Blend is an ode to the days of Prohibition. As per the label: “wine’s darkest hour when it was deemed illegal”. Luckily for us, the year 1924 was also when this winery set down their wine roots.
I recently discovered this Limited Edition Gnarly Head production in our wine department at Whole Foods. My beverage buyer had decided to bring it in and create a small display. After sampling this wine, we may want to go bigger.
Having enjoyed Gnarly Head wines, mostly Zinfandel, this Lodi California blend caught my eye. The frosted bottle didn’t hurt either. The fact that it is presently priced under $10 pretty much decided it for me right then and there. Tonight’s wine was chosen.
Slightly chilled to room temperature, remember I live in the tropics, this wine poured a dark rich garnet purple color. The nose boomed with power and excitement of dark fruit such as; blackberry, fig, blueberry, raisin with a bit of cocoa thrown in. The palate was pretty much the same with a bit more chocolate and the addition of caramel.
This velvety fruit forward bold field blend managed to satisfy all my wine needs. This says a lot of a wine at this price point. Luckily I am not alone. Wine Enthusiast rated a recent vintage 90 points and classified it under their BEST BUY distinction. VIVINO app customers also rate it highly. This easy drinker is a secret no more.
I am predicting that with in-store wine tastings our small display will need refilling on a regular basis. A great example of QPR [quality to price ratio] if I ever did see one. Here’s to spreading the wine gospel!
Asheville North Carolina’s own: BILTMORE Century Red Wine
We discovered this wine about 8 years ago while visiting the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville North Carolina and their vineyard. More importantly their tasting room! Although wines were plentiful, for some reason this one in particular stuck out. As we returned with other visiting guests to our Tryon NC home over the years we were repeatedly drawn to this one blend as we ordered cases to take home or had friends buy bottles for us as they visited. For years this particular blend was only available at the Estate itself. A few years ago on-line ordering was expanded to include our other home state of Florida which made ordering easy but the shipping costs not pretty. Originally priced in the $16.00 range shipping would put it in the mid-low $20’s range. Not exactly a deal for what we considered a very good every day wine.
Flash forward, while visiting our home in North Carolina, I walk into a Fresh Market and what do I see but BILTMORE Century Red Wine for $9.99!!! My next automatic step was to call friends down south to see how many bottles I should drive back upon my return. Let’s just say a dent in the inventory was made. At $16.00 this wine is good at $9.99 this wine is GREAT.
A few years ago as my hankering for wine knowledge expanded I decided to research this wine to see why I was attracted to it. As it turns out this blend includes Sangiovese [one of my favorites varietals] and Merlot a varietal I am appreciating more so every day. Although I have seen this wine priced in the $9-11.00 range at local grocery stores it is still $15.99 on the website with possible discounts for quantity purchases. If you can find it, give it a try! SALUD!
My notes: A Sangiovese/Merlot blend, light to medium in body, dark in color, robust [I think of it as a controlled fruit bomb], pepper, tobacco on the nose with the taste and acidity of strawberry and dark plum as it opens. I recommend decanting for about 30 min.