Vines don’t exactly have the most beautiful growing patterns. In fact, as they get older, they get a bit like hair. Rather brambly, crazy, and generally willing to do whatever they might be inclined to, twisted is a pretty good word to describe them (not that young vines are much better about this). Of course, twisted sounds pretty gnarly. Unfortunately, another wine company already has Gnarley, so 2009 Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel will be expected to prove it’s chops against that. Can it shoot straight to flavor explosion on the palate, or does it get lost in the twists and turns?
Sight: A little bit on the duller side of the brick red and purple spectrum. Some ruby, staying young.
Smell: Blackberry and raspberry jam abounds with a bit of cacao, and a touch of cherry.
Sip: There’s a nice pop of acid, and the wine is bone dry. There’s a lot of blackberries and raspberry flavor, with a bit of cranberry to boot. There’s not a lot in the way of oak off the bat, and the tannins are moderate to high.
Savor: There’s a sort of cedar ending note that mixes with fresh stewing cranberry. It’s slightly bitter and woody, and it lingers like a trip through IKEA.
Overall, 2009 Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel just doesn’t seem to have a lot of twists. It’s rather straightforward, and it’s a bit disappointing. A touch more sweetness, and a stronger oak influence could have added some much needed zing. For the money, try Gnarly Head’s Old Vine Zin instead.
Verdict: Twist, no shout.