Turley Mead Ranch Zinfandel 2010
Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
Mead Ranch seems to miraculously improve year after year, proving you should never settle even when you think you've attained excellence. Located on a plateau atop Atlas Peak in Napa, the Bay's cooling influence is easily felt—you can even see San Francisco on a clear day. Because of the general freshness of this microclimate, the vines have longer hang times, which lend the wine structure & balance. Graphite, minerals, and distinct mountain spice dominate the nose, while the palate reflects its terroir with a savory/smoked meat element.
International Wine Cellar - "Good medium ruby. Pungent, steely aromas and flavors of blackberry, spicecake, chocolate, orange peel and white pepper; almost syrah-like. Dense and sweet in the mouth but with terrific aromatic lift thanks to firm acidity and a strong white pepper quality. Really lovely definition and perfume here. Exhilaratingly long, palate-cleansing finish. I never would have guessed this wine had a pH of 3.9. Superb zinfandel."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2010 Zinfandel Mead Ranch opens with a precise, beautifully delineated bouquet laced with sweet red berries, mint, tobacco and incense. Delineation, purity and precision are some of the qualities that distinguish the Mead Ranch. An expressive, creamy finish rounds things out in style. The Mead Ranch is one of many standouts in this lineup of 2010s from Turley. "
Turley Wine Cellars Winery
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About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
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 lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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