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Flat front label of wine

Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel (torn label) 2004

  • RP93
750ML / 15.9% ABV
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750ML / 15.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Rattlesnake Ridge is an estate-owned and certified organic vineyard. Located at the top of Howell Mountain at about 2600 feet, the vines see more sun here then they would on the valley floor; however, it is much colder due to the elevation, and can even snow in the winter. All combined, these factors make for a truly unique wine: bold, strong tannins and an acid backbone that can only come from Howell Mountain.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From Howell Mountain, the 2004 Zinfandel Rattlesnake Ridge (less than 400 cases produced from a site adjacent to the well-known Black Sears Vineyard) is a terroir-based effort given the vineyard’s volcanic soils with considerable iron and white ash (known in California as tufa). At 15.9% alcohol, it is not a wimpish wine, but reveals surprising complexity with a sweet cherry, plum, and anise-scented nose, deep, rich, full-bodied flavors, gorgeous purity, and remarkable elegance as well as equilibrium. Drink it over the next 7-8 years.
Range: 91-93
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Turley

Turley Wine Cellars

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Turley Wine Cellars, California
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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.

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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.

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. In fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

Tasting Notes for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a dry red wine, though typically forward in fruit. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice are common. Very ripe examples may express a dried fruit quakity like fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often shows red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics like juniper and menthol.

Perfect Food Pairings for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

Sommelier Secrets for Zinfandel

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, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

KHM355660_2004 Item# 355660

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