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Robert Biale Zinfandel Black Chicken 2021

47 units available online.
Product description
Perfecting the old California classics, Robert Biale Vineyards has become a revered standard of heritage Vineyard Zinfandel and Petite Sirah in Napa Valley. Among the winery's portfolio of 20 wines that are crafted by winemaker Tres Goetting, Black Chicken Zinfandel is the flagship and has become a benchmark for the varietal.

Robert Biale's father, Aldo, needed to supplement the ranch income after the passing of his father. That's when Aldo learned to make wine from his Uncle Angelo. He sold his jugs of Zin to friends and neighbours on the "down low," and the phone started ringing regularly for re-orders. The Biale's phone was a party line, so nosy neighbours could listen in on conversations, including orders for produce, eggs, and a jug of Aldo's homemade wine from barrels he hid in the barn. Then, as now, government agencies of various acronyms highly regulated any commercial activity involving alcohol, and any violation of federal, state, or local regulations was severely penalized. So Aldo needed a way to keep the orders coming over the party line without divulging his clandestine wine operation.

Aldo's ranch was known for its legions of white leghorn chickens for laying eggs and serving for supper. Perhaps it was a bit of a stretch for the 14-year-old Aldo to look to them for the code name for his secret wine. So that there would be no confusion, he changed the colour and dubbed a jug of his inky dark Zinfandel Gallina Nera–Black Chicken. Soon phone calls started coming over the party line with customers requesting, for example, "2 dozen eggs, some zucchini, prunes, walnuts and a Gallo Nero." 

Showing the influence of the breezy and fog-laced Oak Knoll District, the 2021 vintage offers rich, plush fruit, delicate acidity and a structure defined by well-ripened tannins. Layered notes of black cherry, raspberry, sandalwood, bergamot, cloves, blueberry, and balsam on the nose. Delicate, yet rich with plum compote, violets, and baking spice on the palate. An ideal vintage of the Black Chicken that, with proper cellaring, will continue to improve for the next 5-7 years.