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 right around 50 separate wines from 47 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.
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.
Dark crimson in color. 15.9% ABV. Heady nose of red fruits, licorice and pepper. Full bodied with notable acidity. Exceedingly rich and plush. Dark cherry, raspberry liqueur, anise and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Full throttle Zinfandel that is exceptionally well crafted. Best over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 93 points.
With all due respect to Carlisle, Turley is arguably the best Zinfandel producer in California. Certainly the scale of the operation is second to none. 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 fared well in The 2020 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.