1996 Turley "Black Sears" Howell Mountain Zinfandel

SKU #945061 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This deep ruby/purple-colored wine (planted high on Howell Mountain) reveals a sweet nose of black raspberries, truffles, smoke, and spice. This full-bodied wine is rich in glycerin and extract, with beautifully integrated alcohol (about 15%). It is a stylish, restrained, impeccably clean, long Zinfandel that should drink well for 5-6 years. These are the Zinfandels of the 1996 vintage. Critics will whine that they are the most alcoholic wines of the vintage, and yes, they are among the most potent. Yet they are unequivocally the most complex, concentrated, and complete wines of the vintage - offering layers of flavor, extraordinary textures, and unbelievable balance. Readers must certainly be aware of the fact that they have become almost impossible to obtain because of their huge popularity. Zinfandels such as Turley's set the standards for other producers, and encourage people to search out old, head-pruned parcels of Zinfandel vines and treat them as they would Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir - with tender, loving care. Tasting these Zinfandels from bottle is a treat." (08/98) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Marked by distinctive spice, mint and pepper flavors built around a core of plum and blackberry. Finishes with a long, lingering aftertaste and remarkably plush, polished tannins. (RP)  (7/1998)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Marked by distinctive spice, mint and pepper flavors built around a core of plum and blackberry. Finishes with a long, lingering aftertaste and remarkably plush, polished tannins. (JL)  (7/1998)

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Price: $69.99
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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.
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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.