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Flat front label of wine

Turley Duarte Zinfandel 2002

Zinfandel from Central Coast, California
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • RP91
  • RP89
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • RP92
  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

This wine is an homage to Joe Duarte, a prominent grape grower in Contra Costa who first introduced Turley to the incredible vineyards of the area. The wine is comprised of fruit from the turn-of-the-century Evangehlo, Mori and Salvador vineyards, planted between 1890 and 1930. As a result of the sandy soils and impressive age of the vines, the wine has some of the softest, silkiest tannins we’ve ever seen in a Zinfandel.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
Few other producers can equal what Larry Turley accomplishes with Contra Costa Zinfandel from the Duarte Vineyard. From ungrafted, ancient vines planted in pure sand (Turley says it looks like a beach), there are 400 cases of the powerhouse 2002 Zinfandel Duarte Vineyard (400 cases; 16.7% alcohol). Full-bodied and dense, with no hotness, but copious quantities of raspberries, blackberries, balsam wood, pepper, and Provencal herbs, this is a rich, layered, hedonistic turn-on.
Range: 91-93
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Turley

Turley Wine Cellars

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Turley Wine Cellars, Central Coast, 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.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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.

DLW254975_2002 Item# 254975