2021 Turley Wine Cellars, Cinsault, Bechthold Vineyard, Lodi, California.
This new 2021 edition of Turley’s Bechthold Cinsault is ultra vivid and delicious with racy red fruits, spice, mineral and floral tones, it is my favorite of my latest batch of Turley offerings, with its bright flavors and silky medium body making a perfect food wine and easily quaffable. Coming from historic vines in Lodi set on sandy soils this Turley Bechthold Vineyard shows vibrant crushed raspberries, strawberries and tree picked plums along with cinnamon, dusty pepper, lavender, umami, delicate sandalwood, Moro orange and lingering kirsch on the cooly crisp palate. To preserve their Cinsault’s vibrancy and show purity, this Turley Bechthold Vineyard was done in a semi carbonic (Gamay) like style and saw a natural yeast fermentation, then was aged, as per normal, exclusively in neutral 100% used French oak. Cinsault is enjoying a revival, and while mostly used in blends, it makes for a lovely solo varietal wines with many superb California efforts, like this one and as well as wines from the Languedoc region of France. While obviously known for their awesome Zins, Turley does everything well and this wine highlights winemaker Tegan Passalacqua’s talents in the vines and in the cellar.

Turley’s Bechthold Cinsault, as mentioned in my prior reviews, comes from one of the Lodi region’s oldest vineyards with Bechthold being planted in 1886, making this Cinsault vineyard maybe the oldest of its kind in the world, as Tegan Passalacqua suggests. The vines at Bechthold are gnarly, head-trained and planted on their own roots in the deep, sandy soils and are Lodi’s oldest continuously farmed vineyard site, one of California’s most unique and cherished sites. Cinsault, one of the Chateauneuf du Pape grapes, found in the Rhone, Provence and in the Languedoc regions of France mainly has found a happy home here in California, especially in warmer climate areas of California, as it retains natural acidity and holds up in the relentless heat, as witnessed here in Lodi. Cinsault has become the secret sauce in many blended wines and adds life and vitality in the classic Rosé wines of Bandol, on its own it can even provide a lighter and more, as mentioned above, Gamay like style, like it does here, and can be enjoyed with a slight chill too. These well over 100 year old vines continue to provide amazing grapes and this magenta/ruby hued 2021 vintage is a must have year with exceptional fruit quality and natural acidity, I wish I had bought more!
($30 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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