1997 Turley "Dogtown" Lodi Zinfandel

SKU #330537 89-91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1997 Zinfandel Dogtown (15.3% alcohol) is from a 65-year old vineyard situated on the border of Amador. Its dark ruby/purple/garnet color is followed by copious quantities of briery, berry fruit intermixed with loamy soil, underbrush, and spicy notes. Full-bodied and chewy, with excellent ripeness, this tasty, fleshy, full-throttle Zinfandel should drink well for 5-7 years. As I have stated many times in the past, Turley Cellars' offerings have become the reference point for Zinfandel, as they are the most complex, concentrated, hedonistic wines ever produced from this varietal. Critics claim the alcohol levels are too high, but proprietor Larry Turley and his winemaker, Ehren Jordan, would argue that the alcohol levels are high only because they harvested fully ripe fruit. Turley and Jordan have also taken the art of wine making to a higher playing field. At the same time, they have resurrected a bevy of old head-pruned Zinfandel vineyards that had largely been ignored, or had their crops sold off to be unceremoniously blended into white Zinfandel. Turley Cellars' goal is to produce 10,000 cases of unfiltered, hand-crafted Zinfandel. As for the 1997 Zinfandels, Larry Turley feels they 'are the best wines we have yet made.' The wines are amazingly good, and as the following tasting notes suggest, readers could buy blind here and always end up with a juicy, complex, mouth filling Zinfandel.  (6/1999)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium ruby, less saturated than the above. Darker aromas of cassis, black raspberry, blackberry, pepper and gunflint. Cooler and rather tightly wrapped in the mouth; a nicely delineated wine with a sizable structure. Finishes firm and long, with youthfully tough tannins. Much fresher than the above sample from Lodi.  (6/1999)

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Price: $69.99

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Zinfandel

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Central Valley/Lodi

- With a reputation for bulk wine and table grapes, little to no quality wine has emerged from the expansive Central Valley since companies like Franzia and Gallo staked their claim here. The exception are new wine ventures in sub-AVAs Lodi and Clarksburg, home to jammy zinfandels and surprisingly distinguished chenin blancs respectively.