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 right around 50 separate wines from 47 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.
Rattlesnake Ridge is an estate-owned and certified organic vineyard. Located at the top of Howell Mountain at about 2600 feet, the vines see more sun here then they would on the valley floor. However, it is much colder due to the elevation, and can even snow in the winter.
Crimson in color. 14.1% ABV which is much lower than most of the Turley wines from this era. Brooding nose of dark fruits, road tar, bacon fat and Howell Mountain white pepper. Medium body with ample acidity. Thick and chewy. Black cherry, blackberry, smoke and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish with pronounced, gritty tannins. Conventional wisdom is that Petite Sirah can cellar for an eternity but I don’t see the need in this case. Best over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 91 points.
With all due respect to Carlisle, Turley is arguably the best Zinfandel producer in California. Certainly the scale of the operation is second to none. 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 fared well in The 2018 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.
I previously wrote about how Petite Sirah can age in Petite Sirah: California’s Most Age Worth Varietal?