Gallo Family Vineyards Hearty Burgundy NV
|Brand||Gallo Family Vineyards|
This year marks the 50th birthday of Hearty Burgundy, one of the most famous wines in American history. It has always offered solid pleasure in a red, and still does. A blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, it's dry, full-bodied and rich in cherry jam, licorice and black pepper flavors, subtly touched with smoky wood.
I remember this wine from my college days, and I must say I have never been disappointed by it. I suspect the blend has changed after 25 years, but it is still a grapy, berry, spicy, peppery, medium-bodied, off-dry red with surprising character and flavors for its price range. The finish is short, and the residual sugar is not totally balanced out by the wine's acidity, but this is a velvety-textured, cleanly made, dark ruby-colored wine that is mouthfilling, without any obtrusive acidity or tannin. I have tasted many wines that cost ten times more that were inferior to this blend. (Reviewed because it is one of "America's Best Selling Wines" - according to retailers and/or the trade magazine Impact.)
For its debut in a cork-finished high-shouldered bottle, Gallo's perennial favorite is lean and fruity, with black and pepper and berry flavors reminiscent of Syrah; a hit of toasty oak keeps it in line, and the tannin is well within bounds on the finish.