Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.
The January Zinfandel of the Month is the 2012 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch.
I chose this Zinfandel because last Spring Turley announced the ’18 version of Mead Ranch would be their last from this Vineyard. I am partial to Mead Ranch as my Aunt used to live down the street from Mead Ranch on the top of Atlas Peak. I am curious as to what will happen with the fruit beginning with the ’19 vintage.
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.
Mead Ranch is located in the Atlas Peak Appellation of the Napa Valley. The vineyards at Mead Ranch have been in continuous production since 1916, when the three Mead Brothers, Giles, Charles and Albert, bought the ranch. Souverain produced a “Mountain Zinfandel” from Mead ranch as early as the 60s, Rutherford Hill Produced “Mead Ranch–Atlas Peak” Zinfandel and Zinfandel Port in the 70’s.
Purple in color. 15.9% ABV. Awesome nose of brambly black fruits, peach, licorice and pepper. Medium body with juicy acidity. Exceptional balance. Black cherry, raspberry liqueur, plums and white pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Delicious, lush and appealing. Fantastic Zinfandel that has aged beautifully. Best over the next year or so.
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.