2002 Turley "Rattlesnake Ridge" Howell Mountain Zinfandel (Previously $100)

SKU #1028991 90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The high altitude mountain 2002 Zinfandel Rattlesnake Acres, a ten-acre vineyard with relatively tight spacing for Zinfandel (3 feet by 6 feet). Blackberry and blueberry, cool mountain aromas emerge from this offering, which reveals more austerity and only a medium-bodied palate compared to its siblings. Nevertheless, there is fine ripeness, excellent purity, and a claret-like delicacy and focus to this effort. (RP)  (12/2003)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright red-ruby. Superripe aromas of black cherry, briary dark berries, spices and tar; light roasted and candied suggestions. Dense and very ripe but lively, with a pungent spiciness lifting the briary berry flavors. Chewy, classy zinfandel, with a long, spicy, very fresh finish. Lower in alcohol than most of these '02 zins, at 14.5%; but this year the fruit ripened well on Howell Mountain. (ST)  (6/2004)

Wine Spectator

 Intensely peppery, with a core of dry, beefy wild berry, blackberry and earthy sage notes, returning to the peppery flavors it started with, but also with dry tannins. (JL, Web-2004)

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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 15.5