2012 Robert Biale "Black Chicken" Napa Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1152410 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 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)  (12/2014)

91 points James Suckling

 This is a deep and rich zin with funky old vine character plus dark fruit, mushroom and bark undertones. Full body. Delicious. Drink now.  (7/2015)

91 points Wine Spectator

 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)  (10/2014)

90 points 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.  (5/2014)

K&L Notes

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.

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Price: $44.99
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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.8