21 Mar Turley Cellars
winery: Turley Cellars
grape: Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
region: Napa Valley
Over the decades former doctor Larry Turley has made quite a name for himself as California’s king of Zinfandel. In 1981 he co-founded Frog’s Leap Cellars and discovered that he really loved the bold flavors of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. He sold his share of Frog’s Leap Cellars to his business partner and ventured out on his own to make precisely the styles of wine he loved to drink; in 1993 he established Turley Cellars and now makes 28 different wines (!) from 35 vineyards. All estate fruit is dry-farmed and organic.
Cabernet Sauvignon didn’t enter the picture until several years later when he acquired a Napa vineyard. His daughter Christina, who now works in the family business, convinced him not to rip out the established older vines and replant with Zinfandel, but to save them and produce his first Cabernet Sauvignon wine – something he had previously said he’d never do. (She also convinced him to produce his first white zinfandel – another former no-no. Dry in style and full of texture and flavor, it’s quite a tasty departure from the cheap, cloyingly sweet stuff.)
The grapes are from an organic single vineyard estate Cabernet
Sauvignon from vines that are 25 years old. It’s aged for 18 months in 100% French oak barrels, of which 40% is new.
As stated by the winery, it’s “much darker in the glass than previous vintages, the ‘13 draws you in, with aromas of dark fruit, smoked meats, and garrigue. The sumptuous palate is full of cassis, dark cherries, flowers, and savory herbs, rounded out by well-tuned, fine-grained tannins. This, along with its medium body and great structure, means the wine will age even better than its predecessors—and is also imminently enjoyable with a quick decant! The ’13 Turley Estate is true Cabernet Sauvignon, fascinating and incredibly satisfying to boot.” It’s only available on the wineries mailing list, their tasting room and in very limited quantities around the nation.