2002 Turley "Grist Vineyard" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

SKU #1056948 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep ruby-tinged red. Delicate aromas of candied blueberry, flowers and white pepper; the Chambolle-Musigny of the cellar. Tightly wrapped but very intensely flavored, with superb inner-mouth perfume and energy. Shy flavors of red cherry, flowers and spices persist on the firmly tannic, youthfully austere back end. This really needs two or three years of cellaring but should prove to be an unusually complex and vibrant Zinfandel. (ST)  (6/2004)

88-90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The earthy, high acid, terroir character of Dry Creek’s Grist Vineyard is found in the 2002 Zinfandel Grist Vineyard, a small cuvee of 250 cases. It is a cool climate-like Zinfandel from a warm area, which is noticeable in the nervous cherry, raspberry, and strawberry fruit characteristics, noticeably tart acidity, and the dense, medium-bodied, concentrated palate with a steely firmness to its structure. Although austere by Turley’s standards, it remains a distinctive, potentially outstanding Zinfandel. (RP)  (12/2003)

Wine Spectator

 Tightly focused on a beam of cedar, blackberry, wild berry, fresh earth and anise, this has firm, intense tannins and acidity. Needs a little time to soften. (Web-2004) (JL)

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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Price: $44.99
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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.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 15.7