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Robert Biale

Napa Valley  //  California  //  USA


Biale is recognised internationally by writers and sommeliers as being among California’s very finest producers of the variety. Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, Food and Wine, and Decanter have all lauded Biale as one of California’s top practitioners of Zinfandel.

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Biale Vineyard
Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel

The Biale family, originally from Northern Italy, began growing grapes in Napa in the 1930’s – Zinfandel only. In the 1940’s, during Prohibition, the Biale’s were also poultry farmers.


To stay incognito with their wine sales, customers would call and ask for a dozen eggs and a Gallo Nero or Black Chicken, which was the code-word for a jug of Aldo Biale’s homemade Zin.


Fast-forward some 80 years later, and the Black Chicken Zinfandel deserves the reputation earned for its relentless quality.

In Napa Valley, market pressure for Cabernet Sauvignon and other French varieties has now made Zinfandel a rare variety comprising less that 3% of the valley’s grape production.


Committed to the tradition of farming Zinfandel, Aldo Biale and son Robert decided in 1991 to form a partnership with marketer Dave Pramuk with the goal of producing a world-class wine from the oldest Zinfandel vines on the Biale ranch in Napa’s Oak Knoll District.

The inaugural wine was a quantity of 400 cases produced from 8 acres of old non-irrigated low-yielding vines called 'Aldo’s Vineyard.' Now, under the direction of grandson Bob Biale, the winery has established itself in the Cabernet Sauvignon saturated Napa Valley as a sort of renegade/heritage-driven house of Zinfandel, working with some the oldest vineyards in America.

Featured Wine

Black Chicken Zinfandel


“The producer’s marquee wine and a nod to its long-standing ties to farming, this is fresh and earthy in notes of crushed rock, slate, dried herb and black pepper. The fruit is layered and sumptuous in flavours of raspberry and black cherry, while supple tannins and a hint of toasted oak provide framing.” 

94 points, Wine Enthusiast

14 months in 20% new, French oak barrels. Sourced from the same family vineyard on the Biale estate that Aldo, Nonna, Bob Biale and the Biale family have farmed their whole lives, with additional grapes from their neighbouring winery vineyard in the Oak Knoll District, Black Chicken is a wonderful expression of Zinfandel from the cool southern Napa Valley, and perhaps the most famous icon of Napa Valley Zinfandel in general.


The Oak Knoll AVA dominates this wine with its ripe aromatics and juicy acidity. Aromas of vibrant cherries, raspberries, cinnamon, violets, dried herbs and toasty brown spices. The entry is bright and gives way to supple, round tannins. The fresh finish is the signature of this elegant and remarkably balanced Zinfandel that is immediately drinkable and worthy of five to seven more years of cellar time.

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