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 Filed as : Wine TipsViticulture

Gnarley Old Vines

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  • Publish Date: Aug 27, 2009

Just as “Old Hollywood” conjures up images of classic style and art deco panache, the subtlety offered by “Old Vine” wines is distinct when compared to those of the “New Vine” variety (and “New” Hollywood for that matter). Although it's hard to avoid having one’s interest piqued by all things shiny and new, the greatest respect typically goes to those who are more refined and have entertained us throughout their long careers.

“Old Vine” wines (often in the form of Zinfandel) are frequently touted as achieving more balance, intensity and complexity than their younger counterparts. The fact of the matter is that there are no regulations to control exactly what gives a wine “Old Vine” stature. They could be 20, 47, or 103 years old, although, in general, the term is used to describe grapes from vines that are at least 50 years old.

While a vine produces less fruit as it ages, the fruit it does produce tends to be more concentrated and intensely flavored, which is then reflected in the wine itself. So grapes from older vines can certainly be more intense and have a distinct flavor profile compared to younger ones, making “Old Vine” wines a higher quality and more sensual experience for many wine lovers.

Although the question remains "Just how old is an 'old' vine?", our belief is that if its elegant and timeless, it's not important. Just like our Old Hollywood favorites.

For more practical wine knowledge, visit winecyclopedia.com.

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Don't be a cork-tease

Aug 27, 2009
Several locations in Sonoma, including Bella Vineyards, sells Gnarly Old Vine Zinfandel Grape Jelly... $11, I think. Zin Restaurant in Healdsburg makes it. Great excuse to have wine for breakfast... :)

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Which appellation in France's Provence region is known for its white wines made primarily from Clairette and Marsanne grapes?

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