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Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
Larry Turley and his sidekick, longtime winemaker Ehren Jordan remain the reference point, along with Mike Officer at Carlisle in Sonoma and the Biale Family in Napa, for world-class, quintessential old vine Zinfandels. Sadly, few California Zinfandels reach these heights. 2009 is a softer, lighter-styled vintage for Turley, but the wines are already charming and irresistible. They should be ready to drink when released and best consumed in their first 4-6 years of life. The exceptions are a few of the old vine cuvees as well as their Petite Syrahs, which are all 30-50-year wines. Surprisingly, the alcohol levels are nearly as high as usual, running between 15.1% and 16.5% for the Zinfandels and 1 to 2% lower in the Petite Syrahs. Turley Cellars' Petite Syrahs are something to behold. As stated above, they are all 30- to 50-year wines and even in a more fruit-forward, slightly lighter vintage such as 2009, they deliver massive fruit and richness, yet possess considerably lower alcohols than any of the Zinfandels. Although they can be drunk young, their true character tends to emerge at ages 10-20 or later as they are the ultimate anti-oxidant when it comes to wine. All of them exhibits dense opaque purple colors, full body and notes of graphite, blackberries, blueberries and incense as well as superb purity and density.
"From another cool climate, high elevation site on Atlas Peak, the dark-colored 2009 Zinfandel Mead Ranch exhibits abundant aromas of blueberries, blackberries, crushed rocks and flowers. With considerable intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel as well as a dense, long finish, this is one of Larry Turley’s top 2009 Zinfandels.
The Wine Advocate
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard...Read More About Napa Valley
Zinfandel the American - or Californian - grape. Although it's not from America
(Croatia has been named its origin),
it does seem quite at home in the vineyards of California.
During Prohibition, many
Zinfandel vines survived as the high-yielding grape was popular both for home winemaking and communion wine, which is...Read More About Zinfandel
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