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. Turley now makes 28 separate wines from 35 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Tegan Passalacqua is the Director of Winemaking at Turley and has been instrumental in revitalizing the brand.
The Library Vineyard was planted between 1880 and 1920 directly behind the St. Helena Public Library. Primarily Petite Syrah vines mixed with a myriad of others, including Peloursin, Cinsault, Syrah, Mission, Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir, Carignan, Grenache, and Zinfandel. There are also a number of white grapes, such as Muscat Alexandria, Muscadelle, Burger, and Green Hungarian.
Light red in color and a surprisingly low 13.8% ABV. Amazing nose of currants, leather and menthol. Medium body with gobs of acidity. The wine is somewhat lean compared to the Turley Zins of this era but still has great aged fruit flavors that are like a laser beam on the palate. Dried cherries, iron, mint and cassis in spades. Medium length on the finish. In retrospect, had I tasted this blind, I’d have likely guessed a twenty year old Barolo. Fascinating wine that I wish I had more of. Drink over the next decade.
My rating: 95 points.
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. 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.
Turley was a big winner in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.
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