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1999 Turley "Duarte" Contra Costa County Zinfandel

SKU #997093 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright, deep ruby. Aromatic nose of cranberry, bitter chocolate and cracked pepper; superripe yet bright. Thick but utterly suave in the mouth, with intense, bright berry flavors of noteworthy complexity. 'A perfect example of a vineyard that benefitted from the cooler, later harvest,' notes Jordan. Finishes with dusty but even tannins and excellent length. This was strong in '98 as well. 92+ points. (ST)  (5/2001)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I often notice a resiny/balsam wood character in Turley's Contra Costa offering. The 1999 Zinfandel Duarte Vineyard (560 cases, 15.8% natural alcohol) is produced from 104-year old vines planted in pure sand. A wonderful expression of purity and sweetness, it offers sweet black cherry liqueur, strawberry, pepper, kirsch, raspberry, and spice aromas. I also detected a complex note of volatile acidity. Long, deep, intense, and well-textured, it will drink well for 7-8 years. (RP)  (10/2001)

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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.
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.