2019 Turley Wine Cellars, Zinfandel, Sadie Upton Vineyard, Amador County.
This incredible, deeply purple and delicious full throttle Zinfandel was the perfect wine to celebrate my all American 4th of July, coming from the historic Sadie Upton Vineyard in Amador County that was planted back in 1922, not far from Plymouth, it shows the old vine concentration and ripe flavors you’d expect from Turley, along with a vibrant array of spices and the vintage’s lively nature. Hedonistic, dense and opulent in style, this 15% plus Zinfandel has textural pleasure in spades with a lush mouth feel and a depth of black and red fruit flavors with layers of brambly black raspberry, plum, mission fig, creme de cassis and candied cherry along with snappy spices, floral tones and cedar in a wine that has much in common with big Chateauneuf du Pape(s), it is an unabashed flamboyant joy in the glass. The Sadie Upton Vineyard, Turley notes, came to life in the middle of Prohibition, when a young woman decided decided to get it done while her husband was away working for the railroad, a then 21-year-old Sadie Upton planted this site all by herself, this gumption, as Turley puts it, and tough character shown by Sadie still shows her now 99 year old vines. This 2019 Sadie Upton Zinfandel opens up nicely and gained a bit of savory elements and a touch of irony red spice, it was fabulous with a range of holiday foods, in particular some BBQ chicken and a tomato basil pizza, as well as mixed cheese plate.

Turley Wine Cellars, one of California’s most desirable labels and one of the top Zinfandel producers, was founded in 1993 in Napa Valley by Larry Turley, the ex emergency room doctor and flying enthusiast, who up on farms in the south, where gained a huge respect for the land. Now, with winemaker Tegan Passalacqua leading the efforts, Turley hand crafts about 50 different wines each vintage from more than 50 unique sites across California, with some vineyards in the collection dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, making them well over a hundred years old. Passalacqua has raised the game here at Turley and they really respect the history of these vines, putting a lot of effort into the care of these old vines, relying on organic farming and preserving these old vine vineyards with California’s classic varieties, asTurley says, they aim to both create and preserve California’s unique winemaking culture and traditions. Turley, looking to the future has put together an impressive team, with Larry’s daughter, Christina Turley, who joined the winery full time in 2010 leading the sales and marketing efforts from the Napa headquarters in Saint Helena. Turley, a visionary, brought a few lesser known properties in California’s Zin locations over the last couple of decades, like their Pesenti site in Paso Robles and more recently the Karly winery in Amador County, both of which have huge benefits in terms of access (for customers) and quality to the lineup, like this Amador County Zinfandel shows! Not a one trick pony, Turley, known mainly for their Zins and Petite Syrah, also does Cabernet Sauvignon, a great Cinsault, a cool field blend red and Grenache, so be sure to check out these stunning 2019s!
($49-67 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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