"Hey Aldo, when you stop by this Friday, bring me a few pounds of walnuts, some fruits and veggies, a couple dozen eggs and a Black Chicken!" - This was one of the many covert orders placed to Aldo Biale.
For over 70 years starting in 1937 the Biale family has been growing Zinfandel along with a variety of produce. Back then, a young Aldo Biale used to deliver eggs to local customers. Along with those eggs and produce a teenaged Aldo began discreetly selling his homemade wine to a few wine-loving locals in Napa. 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 teamed up with his son Robert and a couple other key figures to form Robert Biale Vineyards and with such long standing history, grapes and winemaking Robert Biale Vineyards gained recognition and a cultish following by Zinfandel fanatics.
The Black Chicken bottling is sourced primarily from Biale's estate vineyards in the Oak Knoll district. Round, plush, a gentle grip of perfectly ripe tannins, a spectrum of red and dark fruits - raspberries, cherries, blackberries, watermelon, bright vivid aromas, fine-grained texture, star anise, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, black and white pepper, cocoa, subtle nuanced oak. Age worthy, compelling, decadent: a beautifully proportioned Napa Valley Zinfandel. If cellared well, this wine will continue to improve for the next 3-5 years.