gnarly head 2013 zinThese old vines still have some life.

A compelling nose of sweet oak and dark, concentrated fruit with some coriander spice and a hint of dusty earth. Enough complexity to keep you interested. Full bodied and flavorful on the palate with lots of blackberry but a little sweet and, in the end, unbalanced. The tannins are too soft,  exposing acidity on the medium length finish that leaves a sour impression, par for the course in cheap wine. The finish puts me off and ruins the experience. I guess that’s gnarly—well named.

Big and bold. just right for a barbecue. If you’re into fruit forward and ignore the finish you will like this.

Score: 87

Price: $9

Alc: 14.5%

Here’s an ode to old vines. John Fogerty from 2009, The Old Man is Down the Road