2019 Turley Wine Cellars, Zinfandel, Juvenile, California.
One of California’s best Zin values and a great way to start your journey into the fabulous collection of wines at Turley Cellars, the Juvenile bottling, comes from vines that range in age from about 6-25 years, and, as the winery notes, are pulled from a selection of their best vineyards across California, including the famous Hayne, Pesenti, Salvador, Vineyard 101, Fredericks, and Kirschenmann sites from Paso Robles to the Napa Valley, as well as Amador and Lodi. This 2019 is wonderfully balanced with expressive fruit and nice natural acidity, its ripe core includes crushed raspberries, black currants, plum and juicy kirsch along with hints of fresh ground pepper, deep violet and peony florals, dried herbs and dark cocoa. Full bodied and quite luxurious in mouth this vintage is full of pleasure and is easy to love, easily hiding its potent natural alcohol (15.3%) and it has velvet covered muscles with supple tannin and an elegant finish, not unlike youthful Chateauneuf du Pape reds, but proudly Californian to be sure.

The Turley Juvenile, made by Tegan Passalacqua and his team is sourced from close to 27 vineyards, mostly all organic and sustainably farmed and is traditionally fermented using fully de-stemmed Zinfandel grapes and native yeasts. Turley notes that the Juvenile is actually composed of a variety of young vines that have been replanted in several of their old vine sites. They tag the younger vines then pick them, which is done separately and make they make each a distinct wine in separate lots, and blended to taste and style later. Turley has been hand crafting this Juvenile since 1999 and the recipe hasn’t changed too much, though certainly under Passalacqua’s vineyard and cellar guidance Larry Turley’s wines have continued to rise in quality, highlighting the care and extreme effort he has put in here since taking over the winemaker duties. The dark garnet hued Juvenile Zin, following the classic single vineyard wines, saw about 12 months in 80% French and 20% American oak with 95% being used barrels and just 5% new here and the Zin was bottled unfined. These 2018 and 2019 wines are outstanding, I highly recommend grabbing what you and or joining their mailing list for upcoming releases.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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