Grapelive: Wine of the Day November 18, 2021

2019 Turley Wine Cellars, Petite Sirah, Pesenti Vineyard, Paso Robles.
The 2019 Turley Pesenti Petite Sirah is beautifully crafted stuff with an inky black/purple color and deep layers of blackberry, blueberry compote, plum and black currant fruits with hints of violets, acacia, crushed stones, sandalwood, mocha and dusty spices. Even though it is a young and powerful wine at this stage, it thrills with a luxurious full bodied palate with opulent ripe tannins and fresh juiciness, making for a wine that impresses and is surprisingly harmonious even without decanting, in fact it was delicious right after popping the cork and even better when paired with hearty cuisine. Made by Tegan Passalacqua and Karl Wicka, Turley’s Paso Robles winemaker, this 2019 displays the year’s cooler vintage exceptionally well with its fine detail and balance, and it should continue to develop nicely for the next decade. This Pesenti Petite Sirah, fermented using native yeasts and mostly used barrels, about 80% French, 20% American and aged about 18 months, opens up and feels texturally lush, while still vigorous and it lingers on and on with every lasting echos of cassis, a touch of pepper and floral elements. While of course you look to Turley for their sumptuous Zins, this Petite and their Grenache are best not overlooked, as they are outstanding as well, I can’t wait to visit the Paso tasting room again soon, where I usually find some interesting rarities and able to stock up on the basic Old Vine Zinfandel and or the bargain priced Juvenile Zin that is sourced from 27 young vine, but pedigreed sites, including Hayne, Pesenti, Salvador, Vineyard 101, Fredericks, and Kirschenmann.

Turley Wine Cellars was founded, as the winery notes, in Napa Valley by former emergency room physician Larry Turley in 1993 with a focus on Zinfandel from top sites throughout the state, including historic vines from St. Helena to Paso Robles, where Turley bought the Pesenti Vineyard and is where this wine comes from. Under the direction of winemaker and vineyard manager Tegan Passalacqua, Turley now makes 50 different wines, all limited small batch offerings, from over 50 vineyards, as Turley adds, across California, which are primarily Zinfandel and Petite Syrah, with many of these vines dating back to the late 1800s. The Turley owned and farmed Pesenti Vineyard, set on the westside’s limestone based soils, is an estate-owned and certified organic vineyard, which saw its Petite Sirah planted by the Turley team using cuttings from the famous Hayne Vineyard in Napa Valley. The Petite Sirah is all head-trained and dry-farmed, which gives this wine its character and concentration, making for an inky dark, chocolatey, densely packed example of this grape, which is also known as Durif. As these Petite Sirah vines age and get more mature the wines are becoming more distinct and are expressing the terroir of the Pesenti Vineyard, giving loads of ripe fruit, with a background of minerality and savory spices, as this wine clearly shows. There’s so much to admire in Turley’s lineup, but a few standouts come to mind, besides this goodie, like their Judge Bell Zin from Amador County and the Bechthold Vineyard Lodi Cinsault, one of my favorites, and the Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel.
($38-49 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive