Turley Wine Cellars was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley and specializes in small lots of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah from some of California’s most historic and treasured vineyards. Turley now makes 28 separate wines from 35 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Tegan Passalacqua is the Director of Winemaking at Turley and has been instrumental in revitalizing the brand.
Dragon Vineyard is an estate-owned and certified organic vineyard. Planted at 2400 feet at one of the highest points on Howell Mountain, the vineyard sits well above the fog line and faces east.
Blood red in color. 16% ABV. Riveting nose of red fruits, cassis liqueur and molten licorice. Altogether well balanced with just a slight bit of heat on the palate. Medium body and perhaps more in a claret style than I would have expected. Flavors of sweet raspberry compote, cherries and white pepper. Really delicious Zinfandel that finishes strong. Hard to imagine this gets any better with time in the cellar.
My rating: 94 points.
With all due respect to Carlisle and Bedrock, Turley is arguably the best Zinfandel producer in California. Exceptional vineyards sources throughout the state of California and no detail spared in the winemaking process. The wines are simply better than ever.
Turley wines are available via the mailing list and periodically at retail. Turley has tasting rooms in both Amador and Paso Robles. If you are not on the mailing list, this is an easy way to secure bottles. Both are not to be missed if you are in the area.
Turley was a big winner in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.
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