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Flat front label of wine

Turley Dragon Zinfandel 2013

Zinfandel from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
  • RP97
0% ABV
  • V95
  • WS93
  • RP95
  • WS90
  • WS94
  • RP95
  • RP93
  • RP93
  • RP92
  • RP95
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

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. These important features, along with the rocky, red volcanic soil, make for a very unique, full-bodied and powerful Zinfandel that ages beautifully.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Larry Turley has produced three 2013 Zinfandels from the Howell Mountain AVA, which he was one of the first to exploit in terms of Zinfandel. Nearly 25 years later, he continues making some of the finest wines this ancient grape can produce. The 2013 Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard from Howell Mountain originates from one of the highest elevation sites in the Turley portfolio. Estate-owned, this vineyard (at 2400 feet, well above the fog line and east-facing as well) is planted in volcanic and rocky soils. It has always produced one of the killer Zinfandels, and the 2013 (15.3% alcohol) is no exception. It has a saturated dense ruby/purple color, a seamless integration of acidity, tannin and alcohol, stunning boysenberry, blueberry, and black raspberry fruit, and great complexity for a Zinfandel. Full-bodied, with a stunningly proportioned texture, terrific purity and palate presence, at the same time its acidity gives it a zestiness and an ethereal quality. This is a stunner and a Zinfandel that’s drinkable now, but also capable of evolving for up to a decade or more.
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Turley

Turley Wine Cellars

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Turley Wine Cellars, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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Turley Wine Cellars was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley and makes thirty-four wines, the vast majority of which are single vineyard designate Zinfandels and Petite Syrahs. By focusing on old vine vineyards in particular, Turley aims to both create and preserve California’s unique winemaking culture.

All of Turley’s vineyards are either certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers or somewhere in the process, and the winery uses all natural yeasts in the fermentations.

Turley aims to be stewards of some of California’s most distinctive vineyards, producing authentic wines that reflect their heritage.

Howell Mountain

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Today Cabernet Sauvignon is the star of this part of Napa’s rugged, eastern hills, but Zinfandel was responsible for giving the Howell Mountain growing area its original fame in the late 1800s.

Winemaking in Howell Mountain was abandoned during Prohibition, and wasn’t reawakened until the arrival of Randy Dunn, a talented winemaker famous for the success of Caymus in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early eighties, he set his sights on the Napa hills and subsequently astonished the wine world with a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Shortly thereafter Howell Mountain became officially recognized as the first sub-region of Napa Valley (1983).

With vineyards at 1,400 to 2,000 feet in elevation, they predominantly sit above the fog line but the days in Howell Mountain remain cooler than those in the heart of the valley, giving the grapes a bit more time on the vine.

The Howell Mountain AVA includes 1,000 acres of vineyards interspersed by forestlands in the Vaca Mountains. The soils, shallow and infertile with good drainage, are volcanic ash and red clay and produce highly concentrated berries with thick skins. The resulting wines are full of structure and potential to age.

Today Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah thrive in this sub-appellation, as well as its founding variety, Zinfandel.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.

YAO142746_2013 Item# 142746