1996 Turley "Vineyard 101" Alexander Valley Zinfandel (Previously $100)

SKU #997071 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 This wine (from a 2.2 acre parcel of 80-year old Alexander Valley vines) exhibits a dark ruby/purple color, followed by sweet berry fruit aromas intermixed with herbs and minerals, and gobs of chewy blackberry and cherry fruit. A thick, viscous, full-bodied, yet impeccably well-balanced Zinfandel, it should drink well for 5-8 years...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. (RP)  (8/1998)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe and complex, with pretty, spicy, toasty oak and a pretty core of juicy plum, blackberry, cherry and spice. Deliciously fruity and complex on the finish. Tasty now for its fruit, yet mildly tannic, so you can age it short-term. A new wine from Turley's estate vineyard near Geyserville. (JL)  (7/1998)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Saturated dark-ruby color. Vibrant aroma of crushed blackberry and black pepper; hint of surmaturite Thick, superripe and very concentrated, but brightened by a pomegranate bite. Not quite as smooth as the Tofanelli; in fact a bit topheavy with alcohol. Here the tannins are a bit more aggressive. But long on personality. (ST)  (5/1998)

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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.