Varietal: Petite Sirah Based Blend
Region: Lodi, California – USA
Cost: $12 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: True to its name, Gnarly Head Authentic Black opens with brooding aromas of black cherry and black licorice providing a powerful entree’ to this big, robust Petite Sirah-based blend. Dark and inky in the glass, concentrated flavors of blackberry and plum are framed by hints of dark chocolate on the finish. Styled to stand up to the season’s heartiest dishes, boldly pair this full-bodied wine with venison chili, meat lovers pizza, or a grilled rib eye steak.
My Review: It seems like this time of year a bunch of wineries suddenly release a “Dark” or “Black” wine – a bolder wine than they usually make with the idea of pairing it with the heavier foods we all tend to consume this time of year as the temperature drops. While I appreciate that they reserve these wines for when they are more seasonbly appropriate, I’m curious if there’s not a market for them year round – I certainly eat steak, meat lovers pizza, and even some stews year round.
The economics of the wine not withstanding, here’s what I actually thought of it.
In the glass the wine certainly lived up to its name, being dark and inky. On the nose I picked up black cherry predominantly, but some black licorice did start to come out as the wine opened up – not too terribly much, but some. In the mouth the wine was big and robust, with flavors of plum and blueberry jumping out for me, with a bit of mocha/chocolate on the finish.
Paired with a meal of roasted meat that was turned into french dips the wine did a good job of holding up to the meat, with the blueberry actually providing an odd, but not unpleasant, counternote to the richness of the meal.
For $12 this is certainly a good value wine, particularly if you pair it with the suggested stews and chilis and share it with friends – a few bottles of this will go well with dinner without setting you back too much, and should appeal to everyone’s desire for something heavier this year.
I would like to know what the blend is (beyond just being “Petite Sirah-based”), but I will say that the Petite Sirah is prevelant, and even had I not known anything beyond the wine being a blend, I’d likely have guess it was in there.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.