Old Vines is composed of a variety of old sites from California that are either too small to be made into a vineyard designate wine, or are “new” to the Turley family (and way of farming). While we bring them up to speed as far as our rigorous farming practices go, in the mean time they make up the Old Vines blend. The average age of the vines in these 18 vineyards is about 80 years old, and they hail from Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lodi, Contra Costa, Amador, and Paso Robles.
The 2011 Zinfandel Old Vines is a good introduction to the Turley house style. Sweet red berries, crushed flowers and licorice come together nicely in the glass. The 2011 offers lovely balance to match its pretty, understated personality. A feminine, gracious wine, it seems best suited for drinking over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2014.
This is a thrilling set of wines from Larry Turley, Ehren Jordan and Tegan Passalacqua. Tasting this wide a range of 2010 and 2011 Zinfandels and Petite Syrahs is like taking a master class in California terroir. The house style favors an expression of Zinfandel and Petite Syrah built on aromatic intensity and elegance, which Jordan credits to gentle extractions. At times, the wines come across as quite Burgundian in the way they express richness but not excess heaviness. Over the last few years, the wines have become a little more laid-back and less overtly ripe, which is a net positive given that the starting point for all of these wines is fruit of exceptional quality. The Petite Syrahs in particular are noteworthy because they are among the few wines that find the elegance Petite Syrah is capable of, while avoiding the massive tannins that are so typical elsewhere. The 2010s are strong across the board, although Turley did not bottle a few of their wines from sites that got scorched by the heat spikes, which includes the Highway 101 and Zampatti. The 2011s are more variable, as befits a vintage that had much less favorable conditions overall.
(15.5% alcohol): Good bright medium red. Tighter and less expressive on the nose than the Juvenile, hinting at a darker fruit character. More silky and fleshy in the mouth but less exuberant too, with a note of orange peel providing lift to the juicy dark berry and spice flavors. Finishes vibrant and fresh.
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