Bottle Notes, Zinfandel

Zinfandel of the Month – 2016 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The November Zinfandel of the Month is the 2016 Turley Zinfandel Mead Ranch.

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.

I chose this wine as my Zinfandel of the Month as it has become a tradition here to open a bottle of Turley Zinfandel while carving pumpkins and this wine was worthy of more than just a bottle note.

Mead Ranch is located in the Atlas Peak Appellation of the Napa Valley. The vineyards at Mead Ranch have been in continuous production since 1916, when the three Mead Brothers, Giles, Charles and Albert, bought the ranch. Souverain produced a “Mountain Zinfandel” from Mead ranch as early as the 60s, Rutherford Hill Produced “Mead Ranch–Atlas Peak” Zinfandel and Zinfandel Port in the 70’s. 2018 was the last vintage for this bottling. I think the fruit is now going entirely to Beringer.

Bright crimson in color. 15.6% ABV. Sublime nose of red fruits, anise and white pepper. Medium to full bodied with perfect acidity and exceptional balance. Bursting with bright, juicy fruits. Cherry, raspberry compote, strawberry jam and pepper on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Stunning Zinfandel. Absolutely brilliant. Best over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 95 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.

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