2019 Turley Wine Cellars, Zinfandel, DuPratt Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge, Mendocino County.
A totally different kind of animal, this Mendocino Ridge DuPratt Zinfandel from Turley, almost completely removed from their other bottlings tastes, in some ways like a Gamay, so distinctive and screaming in natural acidity, you’d never imagine it was well over 15% alcohol! There is loads of black fruits, heightened aromatic floral tones, polished and velvety tannins and an exciting array of spice and savory elements along with some stony mineral and dried herb elements. The bodied builds with air and food, both help flesh things out here a lot in this DuPratt Vineyard old vine Zinfandel from Mendocino with layers of blackberry, blueberry, crushed brambly raspberry and racy red cherry fruits along with briar, cedar, minty herbs and peony, all in a wine that feels crunchy and crisply detailed. This is not your typical Turley, but you got to admire the quality and soulful personality here, it was made following winemaker Tegan Passalacqua’s, who has an exceptional understanding of vineyards and the varietal, choice of methods with organic grapes, native yeast fermentation(s) and his use of 80% French oak and 20% American oak barrels with upward of 20% new used in any given vintage to promote transparency and allowing a sense of place. I suggest bracing your palate with a meal when you try this DuPratt Zinfandel and decanting would help too, enjoy it with rustic cuisine and give it time to show off its full sense of complexity and depth.
Planted in 1919, the DuPratt Vineyard, which sits at 1500 feet up on Mendocino Ridge, on the Western side of the Anderson Valley, this vineyard is surrounded by giant Redwood trees and is, as the winery notes, often called the “vineyard in the sky.” This uniquely cool climate site, that most people would think is more suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, is so remote that the vines still survive on their own original root-stock(s), as Phylloxera has never got here. Located above the town of Philo and only a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, it is the northernmost, coolest site from which Turley ever made wine and though the’ve worked with Mendocino fruit for many years, DuPratt is now the only Mendocino County wine in the lineup. This makes the DuPratt a special bottle and it is very different from the warm site offerings under this label and while still clearly a Turley style Zin, it has its own set of followers, they and I marvel at how a 15% plus wine can have such cool high toned flavors and such perky acidity! This wine, reminds of the difference between higher elevation Gigondas and the warmer Chateauneuf du Pape wines can be, and I have to wonder what those early wines from DuPratt would have tasted like. Jed Steele and Mike Officer of Carlisle are the only two others I know of the have made Zin from here, so I might have to chase those down too, this 2019, only the 4th edition of DuPratt by Turley, it is a wonderful expression of Zin and I look forward to following this slightly wild and singular version of this grape, and I highly recommend it to the adventurous! The brightness of fruit here and unique nature and charm of this Turley DuPratt also make it a nice choice for your Thanksgiving meal.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive