gnarly head pinotGnarly Head makes a decent commercial Zinfandel. But Pinot Noir? Should a Pinot Noir be gnarly? That soft, gentle grape with finesse and a velvet texture probably won’t take well to gnarly but I’ll try most anything once.

Right off the bat this has a thin, weedy nose, with very shy black cherry, hints of earth and tea but little fruit. The palate is meager also—a medium-minus body, a half-hearted attempt at mouth-coating viscosity, with a short, tart finish, peppery with cola notes’’. There is enough midpalate jam to make this drinkable but the overall effect is—well, blah.

We live in a world where up is down and gnarly means feeble. Recommended if you need your inner cynic stroked but otherwise, a pass.

Score: 83

Price: $10

Alc: 13.5%

Speaking of your inner cynic: