Turley Pesenti Zinfandel 2016
This certified organic estate-owned vineyard was planted in the 1920s on primarily limestone soil. Though the vines are head-trained and dry-farmed, the soil plays the most important role in distinguishing this vineyard on the west side of Paso Robles. The wines have a clarity, as well as chalk and floral characteristic aromas unique to the site, and to Zinfandel in general.
Yields were down once again in Paso Robles, though luckily in 2016 we started to see the slightest bit of relief, rain-wise. As a result, the Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel is deeply concentrated yet refreshing. The tart red fruits on the initial nose are present as always, followed by Pesenti’s signature bright acidity and smooth tannin. The wine has a refined yet approachable palate presence, complemented by plenty of lift from the calcareous Pesenti soils, carrying through to a long invigorating finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
From a site Turley owns in Paso Robles, the 2016 Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard exhibits a boisterous, fruit-driven bouquet of ripe raspberries, cherries and kirsch. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and generous, with tangy acids and fine structuring tannins largely concealed in a sweet core of fruit, tangy acids, light structuring tannins asserting themselves on the back end. It's one of the most charming and immediate of this year's single-vineyard bottlings.
Turley Wine Cellars was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley and makes forty-seven 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.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured it’s title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the states’ diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, which sourced a journey to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.