2002 Turley "Dragon Vineyard" Howell Mountain Zinfandel

SKU #1010896 92-94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 . . . the 2002 Zinfandel Dragon emerges from a Howell Mountain Vineyard. It is a 325-case cuvee that came in at 16.2% alcohol. With a deep ruby/purple color as well as exotic aromas of blue and black fruits intermixed with white flowers and ground pepper, this distinct, rich, medium to full-bodied, concentrated Zinfandel admirably combines power with elegance.  (12/2003)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Loads of pepper and tobacco in the aroma, with firm, tightly wound blackberry and wild berry fruit that's supported by firm acidity and tannins. Finishes with a pretty flash of toasty oak.  (6/2004)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Powerfully peppery aromas of raspberry, cherry and licorice. Densely packed and chewy, with its strong peppery element giving it a markedly drier impression than most of the other 2002 Turley zins. Very uncompromising, steely wine that's not yet expressing itself. 90(+?) points  (6/2004)

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Price: $49.99

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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.


- 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.
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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.