Tasting: 2011 Turley Old Vines Zinfandel

Turley Old VinesWe’re not sure why, but for some reason we very often find ourselves craving California Zinfandel (we hope you’re not thinking of pink Zinfandel… please, just don’t). The other evening was one such night, so we pulled out a Turley from our rather extensive Turley collection. Turley always seems to hit the spot in such occasions.

To get certain Turley wines, you have to get on a waiting list to get on a mailing list in order to get the privilege to buy *maybe* three coveted bottles (that is, if you’re lucky). But we already talked about this, and gave some background on Turley Wine Cellars, in a previous post here, so we won’t get into that.

This selection, the Old Vines Zinfandel, is easier to get than their mailing list wines, but still relatively hard to find. The Old Vines is comprised of a variety of grapes from old vineyard sites all around California from vines aged from 41 to 129 years old. These vines are either new to the winemaker or they are from plots that are too small to form their single vineyard wines.

Our Tasting Notes:  Ruby in color with no sediment. Nose of blueberry, strawberry, pomegranate, fig, blood orange, oak, baking spices, and prune. The palate is smooth and rounded with flavors of blackberry, plum, pomegranate, Açaí, bramble berries, fig, blood orange and rind, cassis, thyme, wet rock, peppercorn, American oak, and slight smoke. Medium body and finish and soft tannins. Sweet and smokey, but still refined.

Overall, this wine was just what we were looking for. The year 2011 was one of the worst vintages for California, mainly because the growing season was very cold and wet so the grapes could not ripen to their full maturity (thus making the wines more acidic). Nevertheless, we thought this wine had great balance and finesse, especially for a $26 wine, and had some interesting notes. But a Turley wine can do no wrong in our book (probably… hopefully… time will tell).

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