Old Vine Zinfandel

by Gilbert Keith

I’m currently having this old vine zinfandel I got recently: Hullaballo, 2011 vintage-

2011 Hullabaloo, Zinfandel, Lodi

$17.00Well structured flavors of wild cherry, blueberry, cola and raspberry fruit.

Purchase 2011 Hullabaloo, Zinfandel, Lodi

2011 Hullabaloo, Zinfandel, Lodi Webster’s Dictionary (The Voice of Authority) defines a Hullabaloo as : “To cause an uproar or fuss”, and we are certain this wine is positioned to do just that! Taking advantage of some strong old timer grower relations, we have been able to source some wonderful old vine Zinfandel from several Napa Valley vineyards. Please don’t ask us from where, as we have been sworn to secrecy; just know the same grapes go into wines that retail for three to four times the price. Also since people always ask us about our interesting labels, here is a little bit about Hullabaloo: We chose the classic 19th century strongman icon as we thought it was fitting of the period between 1850 and 1900 (around the time Zinfandel was planted and began to flourish in California). The strongman was not only an exhibitor of feats of strength but his main purpose was also to showcase his great size, boldness and symmetry- kind of describes old vine Zinfandel doesn’t it?

The 2011 Hullabaloo displays aromas of boysenberry, licorice and white pepper on the nose, with well structured flavors of wild cherry, blueberry, cola and raspberry fruit dominating the palate and ending with a nice dash of spice on the finish. This wine will continue to age gracefully for the next 5 – 7 years.

Harvest Dates: October 14-16, 2011
Blend: 93% Old Vine Zinfandel, 7% Old Vine Petite Sirah
Appellation: Lodi (Mokelumne River)
Brix: 26.8 Degrees
Aging: American Oak (Medium to Heavy + Toast)
Time in Barrel: 8 months
Alcohol%: 14.5%

Purchase 2011 Hullabaloo, Zinfandel, Lodi

It suffices to say that I haven’t been a big fan. It is quote sour for my preference. Perhaps I didn’t do a good job of clearing my palette. Crackers were the only suitable option for said palette-cleansing today, and they clearly were not doing it.

Anybody have suggestions? It seems like the sourness would best be moderated with something with decent proportions of oily fats in it. Not the chicken tenders kind, but probably some mix of cheese and olive oils.

Maybe I’m mistaken, though. Gnarly Head says:

Our Old Vine Zinfandel has a gnarly core of rich, dark berry flavors with layers of spice, plum, pepper and vanilla balanced by light hint of toasted oak. Break out a bottle Gnarly Old Vine Zin and pair with BBQ pork ribs, moms favorite Chili or steak fajitas.

In a similar vein, this winery says:

we recommend short ribs or a juicy burger. Devour with a juicy steak or bbq’d ribs!