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Robert Biale-Zinfandel-"Black Chicken" Napa Valley-2013

Robert Biale
"Black Chicken" Napa Valley


All Estate fruit from Biale’s Oak Knoll District vineyards. Long considered one of Napa’s best Zins, this 2013 Black Chicken falls right in line. Smell and taste berry compote, five spice, cocoa, espresso. Gentle tannins, medium/low acidity, rich and forthcoming. Enjoy now through 2018.  

From Biale Winery:
A Kid and a Code
Oh, the delicious covert coolness of it all–Aldo Biale’s secret wine barrels!
Times were especially tough on immigrants especially during the era of the Great Depression. And to make matters worse, Christina Biale had lost her husband Pietro Biale in an accidental rock quarry explosion in 1942. Her only son Aldo at 13 years old was suddenly called upon to take over the running of the family farm. Figuring he could make more money selling grapes in wine form rather than in fruit form, young Aldobegan producing barrels of Zinfandel that he would bottle and sell to wine thirsty customers around the town of Napa. Along with standard daily phone orders for eggs, chickens, fruit and vegetables also would come occasional orders for a “black chicken” - a reference to a freshly filled jug of Aldo’s finest.

In those days, the rural phone service was called a party line, and it allowed for nosy neighbors to listen in on private phone conversations. Heaven forbid the discovery and ensuing trouble of selling bootleg Zin! Aldo’s operation went on for years without being discovered by alcohol regulating authorities. The black chicken code was never hacked...or cracked?

Today, Aldo’s Black Chicken wine punch tool the branch of a tree his father Pietro fashioned to make wine
is on display in The Smithsonian’s fantastic food and wine exhibit, “Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950–2000.” A must see when in D.C.

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