2012 Robert Biale "Black Chicken" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Spicy in black plum and berry fruit, Black Chicken is a consistent blockbuster for Biale, alive and fresh in waves of exotic cinnamon and clove. Built to age 2020–2022, it'll satisfy in complex black tea and savory toasty oak, an easy wine to love. The grapes are sourced from the winery's estate sites within the Oak Knoll District, where it's based. (VB)
This is a deep and rich zin with funky old vine character plus dark fruit, mushroom and bark undertones. Full body. Delicious. Drink now.
Rich, dense and jammy, with aromas of cherry pie and spice. The ripe, layered blackberry flavors show accents of smoky caramel, sage and licorice. For fans of big wines. Drink now through 2018. 6,000 cases made. (JS)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good dark red. Aromas of blackberry, licorice pastille and orange peel are lifted by a floral topnote. Smooth and fine-grained on entry, then creamy and concentrated in the middle, with good peppery energy to the dark berry and spice flavors. Richer and darker than the 2011 version, delivering much more stuffing at a similar level of alcohol. Finishes with sweet tannins and very good length.
The Return of the Black Chicken! Robert Biale knows Zin. Since 1937, the Biale family has grown Zinfandel along with assorted other varieties on their farm just outside the town of Napa. Their Zins are famous for a certain breed of intensity and power- the kind you get when you restrict yields to only the best, most concentrated, fully ripe fruit each vintage. "Black Chicken" gets its name from Aldo Biale, who used the name as a code word when he started making the wine on the sly in the '40s and didn't want other members of his family to know. Black Chicken is primarily sourced from Biale's Oak Knoll District ranch estate.