If you’re a Zin Bitch, been to Zin Fest, or you just love Zinfandel, you’ve no doubt heard of Larry Turley. He is not only famous for making rich luscious Zinfandels and bringing this grape to its potential as a world-class varietal, he has intrigued wine buyers and sommeliers across the land, showcasing his wine on some of the best fine dining menus around. But what you may not know is what a crusader he is for old vines.
Remember, a grape vine takes about 30 years to reach its potential in terms of grape production. Thereafter, it produces fewer grapes with more concentrated flavors. It is up to wineries to make the tough decision of quantity or quality with older vines and the sad truth is most vines are grubbed up and replaced after 50 years of age. But, heroes like Turley and his team of viticulture and wine making geniuses pursue the old and threatened vines for their complex flavors and even historic qualities over mass production.
The fruit of their labors is powerful, dense, and richly complex Zinfandels with many layers and textures that play well with food pairings yet stand alone as if a sipping cocktail. Silky and smooth yet bright berry overwhelm and the layers build a long lasting finish. Even their dark brooding Petite Sirahs have the bright blueberry aromas and distinctly California flavors with dark brooding complexity. Turley is worth a stop on your next trip to the Central Coast or checking out next time you see it on a wine list.