About Turley Wine Cellars
Turley Wine Cellars
When it comes to California Zinfandels, Larry Turley is the master. His are huge, exotic reds that often have head-spinning alcohol and a bit of residual sugar, but at their core, are really showcases for the rich, ripe, old-vine fruit. Today under winemaker Tegan Passalacqua, the winery is focused great old vine vineyards throughout the state, both for the excellent fruit they produce but also ensuring their existence in the future. These powerful Zins got their start when Larry founded Turley Wine Cellars in 1993. At the time, the operation consisted of a single winery in St. Helena; grapes were mainly sourced from Napa producers at sites like Hayne Vineyard, Moore Earthquake Vineyard, and Aida Vineyard. Today, Turley has added a second winery in Paso Robles, a facility in Amador, plus 87 acres of estate vineyards, and fruit from sites as far south as Baja California. While many of the wines still posses big fruit and alcohol, Tegan has moved them beyond that stereotype, with an array of wines from great old vine vineyards throughout the state.
Bold, assertive red wines often showing jammy fruits and impressively high alcohol
Grilled meats and barbecue
Zinfandel is not the rage it was in the 1980s and early 1990s, as there are now too many wines made from overripe fruit or from young vines, or overwhelmed by excessive use of new barrels. Today's Zinfandel styles range from elegant, taut, and claret-like midweights to superripe and potty behemoths, with off-the-charts alcohol levels, distinctly exotic character, and, frequently, noticeable residual sugar. Classic Zinfandels are normally medium to full in body, with fruit-driven aromas and flavors of fresh berries, black pepper, and spices, sometimes with notes of citrus zest, chocolate, and briary underbrush; they are rarely overwhelmed by oak notes. Many of the best producers continue to work largely with very old vines (some-times with "field blends" that include other grapes such as Petite Sirah and Carignan), which give consistently low crop levels and make wines with atypical creaminess of texture, aromatic complexity, and aging potential.