Turley is a famous name in California wine. Since being founded by Larry Turley in 1993, Turley Wine Cellars has been sourcing from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and most recently, in Paso Robles. Not in the least, Turley is also big on Lodi –absolutely bullish and bonkers for Zinfandel grown in Lodi. Larry Turley made his first vintage at the family property in St. Helena. Seven years ago, he bought the old Pesenti winery in Templeton, just south of Paso Robles, and he makes wine in both places. Among California’s prestige producers of Zinfandel, Turley Wine Cellars is undoubtedly the one accorded the most “cult” status: coveted with almost religious fervor by zin lovers to the point where they often pay ridiculous prices for them, demand is such that they are often traded or re-sold for twice those prices, and more. Is there a “secret” behind the quality that has made Turley so successful – something for which Larry Turley may have to commit homicide after telling you? Not really. In fact, Turley freely admits, “we’re pretty lazy when it comes to winemaking. We never crush, we press whole berries. We never use anything but wild yeast, we never filter or fine, we rack occasionally, and we’ve stuck with our long fermentations – taking 30, 40 days, sometimes four to five months, to finish in barrel
The Zinfandel Old Vines is a blend of declassified wine from Turley’s old-vine vineyards. A great buy and one of the best old-vine cuvees the Turleys have produced, rich full-bodied, and unctuously textured, it explodes from the glass revealing black fruits, earth, kirsch, licorice, pepper, and underbrush elements. Sweet (from glycerin and high alcohol, not sugar), dry, full-bodied, concentrated, hedonistic, and supple.