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 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.
Old Vines is composed of a variety of old sites from California that are either too small to be made into a vineyard designate wine or are “new” to the Turley family. Vines are anywhere from 41 to 129 years old, and a true representation of California old vine Zinfandel, hailing from vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lodi, Contra Costa, Amador and Paso Robles.
Crimson in color. 15.5% ABV. Gorgeous nose of red and black fruits, anise, peach and pepper. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Rich, sweet and perfectly balanced. Blackberry, raspberry liqueur and baking spices on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Perhaps this lacks the concentration of the best Turley vineyard designates but it is without question the best Old Vines I can recall. Drink over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 92 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 scale of the operation is second to none. 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.