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Posts tagged ‘Turley’

Spare Me the Bottle Age When It Comes to Zinfandel

Virtually every week I peruse WineBid to see if there are any wines worth bidding on. It strikes me that when I browse through the Zinfandel category I see countless bottles of Zin that are 10 plus years of age. Often I will see bottles that are 15-20 years old. I think that more often than not these wines end up on WineBid because collectors are disappointed with the way their aged Zinfandel tastes.

This past week I opened a 2003 Ridge Lytton Springs out of magnum. The wine was interesting with flavors of black tea and aromas of bay leaves and wet forest floor. It was definitely drinkable and paired admirably with a grilled steak. What the wine lacked though was the juicy acidity and brambly fruit characteristics that I adore in Zinfandel. This was the oldest bottle of Zin in my cellar and I had aged it intentionally to see how it would develop.

I am a proponent of aging wine in the cellar if they improve or become more compelling with bottle age. Obvious examples for me would include Bordeaux and top tier Cabernets from Napa. They develop compelling secondary characteristics and the tannins are more in balance with the fruit profile. While my bottle of ’03 Ridge Lytton Springs clearly made it to 15 years of age I am certain it was not better than had I consumed if 5-7 years ago. I know many a wine consumer who won’t touch a bottle of Ridge Geyserville or Lytton Springs until it reaches 15 years of age. I’ll err on the side of drinking them sooner rather than later going forward.

With that being said a little bottle age can clearly benefit some Zins. A recent bottle of 2015 Ridge Pagani was just a little too over the top at this time and a year or two in the cellar should bring more balance to the wine.

I will not pass judgement on those of you who want to cellar your Zins. I plan to drink most of my single vineyard Zin from the likes of Carlisle, Turley and Ridge in the the 5-8 year window after release. Wines like Outpost and Black Sears that are sourced from Howell Mountain will also be consumed after 5-8 years. Entry level Zins like Turley Juvenile and Old Vines or Carlisle Sonoma County will be consumed 1-3 years after they are released. Unless I lose track of the bottle in my cellar I don’t intend to keep bottles of Zin past 10 years of age going forward.

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The Week in Zinfandel (1/29/18)

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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The Week in Zinfandel (12/18/17)

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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2002 Turley Petite Sirah Library Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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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The Week in Zinfandel (4/17/17)

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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2013 Turley Zinfandel Old Vines – Bottle Notes

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.

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.

Garnet in color. 15.5% ABV. Super nose of brambly red fruits, earth and white pepper. Rich, lush and spicy. Full bodied with juicy acidity. Raspberry compote, spiced plums, boysenberry and pepper on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. Delicious Zinfandel. 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 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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Pick My Next Bottle – 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel

The February installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Old Vine Zinfandel from the the 2013 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.

2013 was an exceptional vintage for Zinfandel throughout California. The wineries featured below have meticulous Winemakers who work hard in the vineyard and I am confident in saying the wines from Bedrock, Carlisle and Turley will rarely disappoint. Pagani Ranch and Hayne Vineyard date back to the early 1900’s while Bedrock Vineyard dates back to the 1880’s. More on the vineyards on the Historic Vineyard Society website.

The Contenders:

  • 2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Red Wine Pagani Ranch – The 2013 Proprietary Red Pagani Heritage rivals the incredible 2012. An ancient vineyard of mixed black grapes planted in the 1880s, this full-bodied, multifaceted wine offers a stunning display of blue, red and black fruits intermixed with floral notes, a juicy, exuberant personality, and, most importantly, a boatload of pleasure. Drink it over the next decade. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard – From the famous Napa Valley site in Santa Helena, the 2013 Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard (15.9% alcohol, but only a mere 216 cases produced) is a blockbuster Zinfandel. There is something magical in this wine, which in 2013 is also 100% Zinfandel from 110-year old vines. Deep ruby/purple, with a stunning nose of licorice, incense, camphor, blackberry, blueberry, kirsch and earth, the wine is majestic, full-bodied and an absolute tour de force in Zinfandel winemaking. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2013 Turley Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard – A wine of real phenolic weight and vertical texture, the 2013 Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard is explosive from start to finish. Iron, smoke, tobacco, savory herbs and dense red stone fruits blossom in a wine built on serious structure. In this vintage, winemaker Tegan Passalacqua gave the Bedrock three additional weeks of time on the skins, which no doubt explains much of the energy and power here. Dollops of Petite Sirah and Alicante round out a very classic-feeling Sonoma Valley field blend. 94 points from Vinous.

Which 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel Should I Open?

  • 2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Red Wine Pagani Ranch (39%, 31 Votes)
  • 2013 Turley Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard (34%, 27 Votes)
  • 2013 Carlise Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard (27%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 80

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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 March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

I previously ranked all these vineyards in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

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The Week in Zinfandel (1/23/17)

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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The Week in Zinfandel (12/19/16)

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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2008 Turley Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard – Bottle Notes

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.

Dragon Vineyard is an estate-owned and certified organic vineyard. Planted at 2400 feet at one of the highest points on Howell Mountain, the vineyard sits well above the fog line and faces east.

Blood red in color. 16% ABV. Riveting nose of red fruits, cassis liqueur and molten licorice. Altogether well balanced with just a slight bit of heat on the palate. Medium body and perhaps more in a claret style than I would have expected. Flavors of sweet raspberry compote, cherries and white pepper. Really delicious Zinfandel that finishes strong. Hard to imagine this gets any better with time in the cellar.

My rating: 94 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.

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

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