Ask any wine geek, “Who makes the best zinfandel?” and the answer will almost always come back, “Turley.” And if you ask who makes the best Petite Sirah (also known as Durif; not at all a Syrah) and you’ll get the same answer: “Turley.” Turley wines are not cheap, but they’re (mostly) not break-the-bank expensive, either. But there is an exception, that being Turley Juvenile
, a Zinfandel blend made up of grapes from younger vines grown in a dozen or so different Turley vineyards (often the well-lauded Hayne vineyard in particular). I get a case every year, but I never finish it in 12 months. Usually five or six bottles will hang around, for once- or twice-a-year consumption; the wine matures gorgeously. The current release is the 2017, about which Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
said, “This is a blend of young-vine fruit from 13 different counties in California. Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Zinfandel Juvenile is scented of cinnamon toast and licorice with warm red currants, cranberries, warm black berries and cherries with blue fruits and spicy hints. Light to medium-bodied, it has a good core of fruit in the mouth with loads of warm spices coming through, framed by softly textured tannins and juicy acidity, finishing long and spicy.” The rating? 91+. How much? $20 even, when you buy it direct from Turley. (Some is available from other sources, but usually for a lot more than $20.) Your best bet: Get on the Turley mailing list
. It costs nothing and can gain you access to some of the best wines you’ll ever have, especially if you like big, bold reds.