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2011 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard – Bottle Notes

The 2011 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard was the winning bottle in the June Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was not decanted and I served it with Turkey Chili.

Turley Wine Cellars was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley and specializes in small lots of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah from some of California’s most historic and treasured vineyards.

Owned by the ex-commissioner of baseball Peter Ueberroth, the limestone vineyard is situated on the west side of Paso Robles. Ueberroth is the oldest vineyard in the appelation having been planted in 1885. Turley has made an Ueberroth Vineyard Zinfandel since 2002.

Blood red in color. 16.3% ABV. Brambly red fruits and pepper on the nose. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Rich and plush yet elegant at the same time. Impeccably balanced. Raspberry liqueur, strawberries, cassis and white pepper on the palate. Long on the finish. Shows little to no impact from the problematic 2011 vintage. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 94 points.

The century old Ueberroth Vineyard is not only the gem in the Turley lineup but perhaps one of the best vineyards in all of Paso Robles. I blogged about Ueberroth Vineyard previously in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

With all due respect to Carlisle and Bedrock, Turley is arguably the best Zinfandel producer in California. Exceptional vineyards sources throughout the state of California and no detail spared in the winemaking process. The wines are simply better than ever.

Turley wines are available via the mailing list and periodically at retail. This particular wine will run you $48. Turley has tasting rooms in both Amador and Paso Robles. If you are not on the mailing list, this is an easy way to secure bottles. Both are not to be missed if you are in the area.

This wine is an early candidate for my Top 10 Zinfandels of 2015.

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The Week in Zinfandel (6/22/15)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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2010 Sojourn Pinot Noir Wohler Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Sojourn Cellars was founded in 2001 by Craig Haserot and Erich Bradley. The winery specializes in Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and recently added a Chardonnay to the lineup. Their fruit is sourced from some of California’s finest vineyards.

Developed in 2006, Wohler Vineyard in Forestville sits in the heart of the famed Russian River Valley within sight of the Russian River and the historic Wohler Bridge.

Light crimson in color. 14.2% ABV. Red fruits, earth, baking spices and cloves on the nose. Light in body and bursting with acidity. Tart cherries, earth, mushrooms and cranberries on the palate. More earthy and less opulent than I am accustomed to from Sojourn but not necessarily in a bad way. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 91 points.

Current wines are available via the Sojourn mailing list and website. The 2012 Ridgetop Pinot Noir was priced at $59 per bottle.

Definitely consider a visit to the Sojourn tasting parlor on your next visit to Sonoma. They do a one-of-a-kind sit down tasting where you will have the opportunity to sample many of their highly acclaimed wines. My wife and I have had the good fortune to spend some quality time with Craig and Ziggy (his dog with a talent for sniffing out TCA).

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Pick My Next Bottle – 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel

The June installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Old Vine Zinfandel from the the 2011 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened on Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.

The 2011 growing season was quite challenging for many California Winemakers. Cool weather up and down the coast slowed ripening. In many cases frost decreased yields and rain late in the harvest led to the the potential for rotten grapes.

The wineries featured below all have meticulous Winemakers who work hard in the vineyard and I am confident to say based on previous tastings that the wines from Bedrock, Carlisle and Turley will not disappoint. That being said it never hurts to check in on bottles in your cellar.

The Contenders

  • 2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Saitone Ranch –  Bedrock’s 2011 Zinfandel Saitone Ranch jumps from the glass with juicy dark cherries, violets and cloves. A rich, sumptuous wine, the Saitone Ranch boasts stunning depth and richness, but no excess weight at all. It is a striking, breathtakingly beautiful wine. Floral and mineral notes add lift on the bright, chiseled finish. This is a fabulous wine from Morgan Peterson. The Saitone is a field blend consisting of roughly 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah, Alicante and assorted other grapes. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2011 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard – The 2011 Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard is plush, rich and inviting. All sorts of black fruits, smoke, tar and graphite flesh out in this supple, deeply expressive wine. In 2011 the Carlisle is notable for its lush, rich, totally inviting personality. At the same time, it has fabulous detail and nuance for such a big, explosive wine. The tannins remain firm, but there is more than enough density in the fruit to provide balance. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. 94 points from Wine Advocate.
  • 2011 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard – The 2011 Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard shows why this Paso Robles vineyard is so admired. A wine of uncommon grace, the Ueberroth possesses gorgeous depth and sheer purity from start to finish. The aromas and flavors are darker than in the two other Paso Zinfandels in the Turley lineup. I can’t wait to taste the 2011 again once it is in bottle. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open

  • Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard (40%, 19 Votes)
  • Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Saitone Ranch (30%, 14 Votes)
  • Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard (30%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another.

Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the July Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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2001 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red – Bottle Notes

Pahlmeyer was founded in the mid-1980s when Jayson Pahlmeyer, a Bay Area lawyer, decided he preferred thinking about wine over reading legal briefs. Pahlmeyer produced its debut vintage in 1986. The winemaking team is comprised of Kale Anderson who is Director of Winemaking for the Napa Valley vineyard and operations, and Bibiana González Rave as Consulting Winemaker overseeing the Sonoma Coast vineyard and operations.

Dark Crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. Briefly decanted. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Soaring nose of cedar, graphite and cassis. Opulent and concentrated. Licorice, currants and black fruits on the palate. Silky tannins on a gorgeous finish. The wine is in a perfect spot right now. Drink over the next year or two.

My rating: 94 points.

Pahlmeyer wines are readily available at retail and via the winery. The 2012 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red should set you back about $145. I’ve already secured a few bottles.

I also blogged recently about the 2004 Pahlmeyer Merlot and 1995 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red.

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The Week in Zinfandel (6/15/15)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

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2005 Cayuse Syrah En Cerise Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Cayuse was founded in 1997 by Christophe Baron, a native of France who grew up in family of winemakers in Champagne. Baron studied viticulture in Burgundy and Champagne, and had ambitions to make Pinot Noir in Oregon. However, on a visit to Walla Walla he found property that he believed would be perfect for growing grapes and decided to purchase the land.

En Cerise Vineyard was planted in 1998. Translated from French, it means cherry – appropriate as the site was a former orchard.

Ruby red in color. 14.2% ABV. Cherries, olives, grilled meats and iron on the nose. Medium body with perfect acidity. Absolutely great mouthfeel and texture. Cherries, blueberries, tea, iodine and olive tapenade on the palate. The tannins are fully resolved. The finish seems to linger for a minute or so. Beautiful Syrah. Textbook Cayuse. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 95 points.

The waiting list for the Cayuse mailing list is huge and you need to be well-connected to get a bottle via retail. Either way, current vintages are worth the hunt!

I blogged about Cayuse previously in The Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings, Cayuse 2014 Release Party and Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5.

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2012 Navarro Vineyards Petite Sirah – Bottle Notes

Located in the Anderson Valley, Navarro has been producing exceptional, fairly-priced wines since 1974. The winery is best known for its range of Pinot Noirs, including the showstopper Deep End Blend (available through futures). They also produce an age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon a delicious Zinfandel and their whites are noteworthy with a one-of-a-kind Riesling, Gewurztaminer and Muscat Blanc.

Purple in color. 14.2% ABV. The first Navarro Petite Sirah since 2006. Black cherry, grilled meats and cassis liqueur on the nose. Full bodied with medium acidity. Rich and still somewhat backwards. Cherries, blackberries and some white pepper on the palate. Somewhat coarse tannins on a long finish. Drink  over the next 5-7 years.

I have to hope that the Petite Sirah becomes a wine that Navarro makes year in and year out. Available at the winery.

My rating: 90 points.

I previously wrote about Navarro in If I had to Pick Just One Wine Club, It’d be Navarro. You absolutely must visit the winery if you are ever in the Anderson Valley.

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Washington Rosé Recommendations

I had planned to save the post until the first day of Summer, but lets face it, Summer is here despite what the calendar says. Every year I try to write about a few new Rosé wines to put on your radar for Summer sipping. Last years suggestions can be found Washington Rose Recommendations for Memorial Day.

I find my preference in Rosé wines shifting to the flavors more associated with the Bandol region of Provence and away from the jolly rancher/juicy fruit flavors I often see in domestic Rosé. The wines of Bandol traditionally have  a high percentage of Mourvedre and smaller amounts of Grenache and Cinsault.

Below are Bottle Notes on three wines that fit what I am looking for in a terrific Rosé.

Lauren Ashton and Syncline are rather well known in the Pacific Northwest and I have blogged about Lauren Ashton previously. Coral Wines is a new producer to me. Coral Wines was co-founded in 2013 by Advanced Sommelier Christopher Chan and Business Executive Peggy Reddy.

2014 Coral Wines Rosé Wine – 85% Mourvedre and 15% Cinsault. Light salmon in color. 13.9% ABV. Fresh Strawberries, and flowers on the nose. Light, airy and fresh. Watermelon, cranberries and spice on the palate. Delicious wine that is really well made and unique. A rosé for a red wine drinker. $20 at retail. My rating: 91 points.

2014 Syncline Rosé Wine – 38% Mourvedre, 32% Cinsault, 30% Grenache. Very light salmon in color. 13.4 ABV. Red fruits, watermelon and minerals on the nose. Light body with crisp acidity. Bone dry. Fresh strawberries, rhubarb and spice on the palate. A delightful wine to be enjoyed this summer. $20 at retail. My rating: 90 points.

2014 Lauren Ashton Rosé Wine – 50% Grenache and 50% Mourvedre. Pink/orange in color. 13.3% ABV. Delicate nose of fresh strawberries, minerals and flowers. Light body with zingy acidity. Blood orange, cranberry and spices on the palate. Refreshing and crisp with just a hint of sweetness. Medium length finish. $18 at retail. My rating:91 points.

By all accounts we are in for a long, hot Summer. Stock your wine cellar accordingly.

I’d love to hear about your go to Washington Rosé Wines?

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The Week in Zinfandel (6/8/15)

Welcome to the latest installment of The Week in Zinfandel. If I missed your post or story please send me a link and I will be sure to include it next week. Cheers!

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

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