2009 Robert Biale "Grande Vineyard" Napa Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1068750 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Zinfandel Grande Vineyard is another striking wine. It is less obvious than some of the other Zinfandels in the lineup. The Grande Vineyard is deceptively medium in body, but there is plenty of fruit and just as much character in the glass. Mint, tobacco and dried flowers add shades of nuance to the dark red fruit on the refined finish. (AG)  (12/2011)

90 points Vinous

 (From vines planted in 1920): Bright red-ruby. Crushed blueberry, black plum, pepper and spices on the slightly high-toned nose; a real essence of zinfandel. Silky on entry, then quite tight and unforthcoming in the middle, showing imploded flavors of black fruits, bitter chocolate and peppery spices. Finishes with very smooth tannins that showed a slightly edgy quality with aeration. Impressive but very young zinfandel, in need of bottle aging. (ST) 90+  (5/2011)

K&L Notes

The Grande Vineyard was palnted in 1920 on Napa's Silverado Trail, and vintage after vintage it makes wonderful, old vine Zin. Jammy briar fruit on the nose and plalate, this has a high tone cherry note that makes it wonderfully bright. There's also an undercurrent of anise, curry, black pepper and pencil lead. Only 391 cases produced.

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Price: $39.99

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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.


- 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.
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 (%): 15.5