2015 Robert Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel
jam, blueberry, black pepper, cherry, plum, boysenberry, cranberry and licorice
candy, vanilla, oak, smoke, tar, musk and mushroom
"For over seventy years beginning in 1937 the Biale family has grown Zinfandel and a variety of produce on their farm located on the outskirts of the town of Napa. A large population of white leghorn chickens once produced a steady supply of eggs that a young Aldo Biale regularly delivered around town to customers. Most of the Zinfandel grapes were sold to Napa wineries but some grapes were reserved so Aldo could make homemade wine for family and relatives. In 1953 Aldo met his future wife Clementina while on a trip to Italy where his mother, Christina was from. Aldo and Clementina were soon married and began raising their family in Napa in 1954.
"The Black Chicken
"Along with the eggs and produce, a teenaged Aldo began discreetly selling his homemade wine to a few wine-loving Napans. Because his rural home phone was a “party line” frequented by nosy eavesdroppers, enterprising Aldo used a code name whereby his customers could order wine without the risk of revealing his secret Zinfandel operation. Thus “Black Chicken” was born – the nickname for a jug of homemade wine from young Aldo’s barrels hidden in the barn.
"In 1991, Aldo and son Robert formed a partnership with childhood friend and wine salesman Dave Pramuk, and winemaker Al Perry to produce and market a special Zinfandel from the old vineyard which they named “Aldo’s Vineyard.” Bob and Dave had gone through grammar school and high school together – both schools just about a mile from where the Biale winery exists today in Napa’s Oak Knoll District. Bob had met Dave’s friend Al Perry while working together at a prominent Napa Valley winery.
"With history, grapes, winemaking and sales in place the new winery, Robert Biale Vineyards, gained recognition and a cultish following by Zinfandel fanatics." - Distributor