Robert Parker 95 Points: "The 2016 Petite Syrah Library Vineyard is superb, and one of the high points of this year's Turley portfolio. From a site in downtown Saint Helena, the wine exhibits a deep bouquet of blackberries, plums and rose petals that shares some of the aromatic range found in the Hayne bottling. On the palate, it's full-bodied, rich and chewy, with tangy acids, a deep core and a rich chassis of structuring tannins, concluding with a fragrant finish.
One of California's great wineries, Larry Turley's Turley Wine Cellars continues to play a critical role in safeguarding the Golden State's viticultural heritage, saving old, head-trained and sometimes own-rooted vineyards from destruction. With fully 29 different bottlings, Zinfandel (often complemented by small amounts of other co-planted varieties, such as Carignan and Grenache) is the standard-bearer here, though Turley also does a fantastic job with other varieties, most obviously Petite Syrah. Given how distinctive each of the single-vineyard bottlings is, it's tempting to suggest (though some will no doubt think it heretical) that Zinfandel might be the variety best adapted to expressing "terroir" in California. While Turley's wines are often ripe, lusty reds that push 15% alcohol—Passalacqua says he wants "Zinfandel to taste like Zinfandel"—they are, on average, about 1% lower in alcohol now than in the last decade, and their new oak component (which includes American oak) is more discreet than it sometimes was in the past. What's more, all of Turley's sites are now certified organic or are undergoing conversion to organic. To my palate, the wines have only become purer and more expressive. With the 2016 vintage, reviewed here, Passalacqua feels that “the perfume is back,” as vines that are recovering from draught conditions have once again produced wines abundantly endowed with fragrant, vibrant fruit tones. They all come warmly recommended."
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