2003 Turley "Rancho Burro" Russian River Valley Zinfandel (Previously $80)

SKU #1026573 90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A new offering, the 2003 Zinfandel Rancho Burro (from a Martinelli family vineyard planted in the 1880s) is classic Russian River Zinfandel (a 250-case cuvee with 15.5% alcohol). Briery, raspberry, herbal, peppery notes jump from the glass of this medium to full-bodied, deep ruby-colored wine which reveals tart acids but flavorful, concentrated fruit flavors and good length. It should drink well for 5-6 years. (RP)  (2/2005)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 ($45; 16% alcohol; from vines planted in the 1890s) Good medium ruby. Superripe yet lively aromas of blackberry, espresso, chocolate and spices. Juicy, spicy and high-toned, with penetrating acids giving shape to the dark berry flavors. This has a very low pH for North Coast zinfandel. Winemaker Jordan noted that the wine 'fermented forever' and was not racked for the first time until August of 2005. Impressively long on the back end.  (6/2006)

Wine Spectator

 Tight, tannic and firm, with vivid wild berry, plum and sour cherry fruit that's shaded by anise and earthy, cedary notes.  (10/2006)

K&L Notes

Turley Wine Cellars makes thirty-four wines, the vast majority of which are single vineyard designate Zinfandels and Petite Syrahs. By focusing on old vine vineyards in particular, Turley aims to both create and preserve California’s unique winemaking culture. All of the vineyards are either certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers or somewhere in the process, and they use all natural yeasts in the fermentations.

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- The bid to name Zinfandel California's "State Varietal" may have failed, but this red wine grape, grown extensively in California since the mid-1800s, is grown in few other places in the world. Sadly, much of what's cultivated today is planted where it's too hot and flat. But when planted to well-drained, hillside vineyards that are warm but not too hot, like those in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley and Amador County in the Sierra Foothills, Zinfandel can produce wines with plenty of character. High in natural alcohol and tannin, grown carefully it can be rich and complex, with dark fruit berry fruit and peppery spice. The most known example of Zinfandel outside of California is Italy's Primitivo, which can be similar in style, but is often a bit lighter and less alcoholic than West Coast examples.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.