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Turley Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2021

Despite the overwhelming number of Zinfandel producers in the U.S., the MVP of carrying the varietal’s reputation may very well belong to Larry Turley,who has spent the last thirty years in California dedicating his days to preserving and furthering Zinfandel’s cause. So much so that since the co-founder of Frog’s Leap Winery first left to start his own winery in 1993, he has built a portfolio that includes 47 wines across 50 vineyards with 29 of them dedicated to the Zin varietal!

Today, his protege, winemaker Tegan Passalacqua, (a noted Zinfandel and Petite Sirah specialist in his own regard), is the man tasked with overseeing the entire winemaking operation. On top of that, Tegan and his wife started their own brand, Sandlands concentrating on making lesser championed wines. Sound like a lot? You don’t even know. Wine Spectator pointed out that in the 2017 vintage alone, Tegan made 49 different wines from 13 different counties in California under the Turley label, and another dozen wines for Sandlands.

This is a beauty from Rattlesnake Ridge Vineyard, a gem of a site in the revered Howell Mountain AVA. This single-vineyard Zinfandel is a true standout, offering a unique expression of the varietal that is unlike any other. Grown at high elevation on the rugged terrain of Howell Mountain, the grapes from Rattlesnake Ridge vineyard produce a wine that is super intense, complex, and full of character.

On the nose, this Zinfandel exudes enticing aromas of ripe blackberries, wild raspberries, and a hint of spice, giving you a preview of the richness that awaits. The palate is greeted with a burst of dark fruit flavors, complemented by notes of black pepper, licorice, and a touch of cedar. The wine’s firm tannins and lively acidity give it a solid structure, ensuring that it will age beautifully for years to come.

95 points from Wine Spectator, 96 more from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. This is a serious wine and a must-have for Big Red collectors.


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