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Turley Whitney Tennessee Vineyard Zinfandel 2015

Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
  • WS91
15.8% ABV
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15.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This small, estate-owned, pre-Prohibition vineyard was purchased by the winery in 2009, and the team has been slowly but surely repairing the soils through organic methods -- until the wine was ready to make its debut, six years later. Planted on loam and various gravel soils, the Whitney Tennessee vineyard—named for one of Larry’s four daughters—is a mixed planting as well, with small amounts of Petite Syrah and Carignane vines throughout. Located just off Alexander Valley Road in Sonoma, the wine was a part of the Old Vines blend until it was ready to make its debut with this stellar vintage! Long-time Turley followers may remember a wine with the same name from the mid-1990’s, though this is a different source.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Dusty cherry and licorice aromas lead to supple, polished boysenberry, grilled herb and white pepper flavors. Drink now through 2023.
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Turley

Turley Wine Cellars

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Turley Wine Cellars, 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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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.

YAO384437_2015 Item# 384437