La Fiera Primitivo Salento IGT 2015

Estate: The Botter family has been producing wines under environmentally friendly practices since 1928. Today, the company is managed by the family’s third generation and specializes in wines of the Veneto region of northern Italy. With its association with fairs, the carousel has been the symbol of the Botter family for centuries. The name La Fiera, translates to “The Fair” and refers to the medieval riding fairs in northern Italy. Fairs took place in royal courts and featured lavishly decorated horses and highly skilled riders performing synchronized formations. The carousal with its wooden horses on a rotating platform was developed to replicate the riders at these fairs.

Tasting Notes: Red violet in colour, wonderfully aromatic with notes of blueberry, raspberry and cigar box spice. Jammy black cherry and blueberry are complimented by earth, pepper spice and a trace of summer woods. Silky tannins fuse with mocha and caramel on the plush, fruity finish. Tasty on its own, a fantastic pairing with pizza and pastas. [It was lovely with eggplant parmigiana.]

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Pizza, rich pastas, firm cheeses, stews, burgers.

Enjoy at 65°F [18°C]

100% Primitivo
Salento IGT
Italy
Bottled by Casa Vinicola Botter Carlo & C. S.P.A.
13% Alcohol
$9 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2019

Turley ‘Juvenile’ Zinfandel 2014

Winery: Beginning with just one vineyard in St. Helena in 1993, Larry Turley established Turley Wine Cellars. Today Turley Wine Cellars consists of 38 different old vine vineyards throughout California. The majority of the vineyards are single varietal Zinfandel or Petite Sirah [some vines even date back to the 1800’s]. “Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like”, and the winery excels at crafting wines from these single vineyards. Turley Zinfandels are noted for their “cult status”, their wine club has a waiting list that spans out over 2 years.

Philosophy: “We aim to be stewards of some of California’s most distinctive vineyards, 
producing authentic wines that reflect their heritage.”

Winemaking: All of Turley’s vineyards are either Certified Organic by California Certified Organic Farmers, or in the process of being certified. Unlike the majority of Turley wines that are sourced from single vineyards, Juvenile is a blend of multiple vineyards, and as the name suggests, it is composed of young vines. “The vines that make up Juvenile range in age from about 6-25 years, and we pull from 15 of our vineyards across California, including Hayne, Ueberroth, Pesenti, Salvador, and Vineyard 101.”

Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour with aromas of black pepper and cocoa powder coated black cherry and raisin. Abounding with layers of blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, black pepper and vanilla, incorporating good acidity and silky tannins. Concentrated black cherry and traces of toasted oak make an appearance on the super spicy, lengthy finish. Great on its own or with all types of heat driven dishes. [It was fantastic with blue corn crusted seitan, roasted tomatillo salsa, yams, rice and beans.]

100% Zinfandel
California
Produced and Bottled by Turley
15.5% Alcohol
$35 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 92 points Wine Spectator
Rated 90 points Wine Advocate

Turley ‘Old Vines’ Zinfandel 2013

turleyoldvines

A classic, bold Cali Zin loaded with spice, jammy fruit and sweet, woodsy oak.

Winery: Beginning with just one vineyard in St. Helena in 1993, Larry Turley established Turley Wine Cellars. Today Turley Wine Cellars consists of 38 different old vine vineyards throughout California. The majority of the vineyards are single varietal Zinfandel or Petite Sirah [some vines even date back to the 1800’s]. “Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like”, and the winery excels at crafting wines from these single vineyards. Turley Zinfandels are noted for their “cult status”, their wine club has a waiting list that spans out over 2 years.

Philosophy: “We aim to be stewards of some of California’s most distinctive vineyards, 
producing authentic wines that reflect their heritage.”

Winemaking: All of Turley’s vineyards are either Certified Organic by California Certified Organic Farmers, or in the process of being certified. Grapes for ‘Old Vines’ are sourced from vineyards that are too small to be bottled on their own along with “newer sites for the Turley family (and way of farming)” that need more time before they will be given separate vineyard designations. Vines range in age from 18 to 80 years and are spread over Central and North Coast California. 20-35% new French oak is used in aging.

Tasting notes: Red-violet in colour with compelling aromas of cherry, raspberry, chocolate, black pepper and sweet oak. Well-crafted with succulent cherry, blackberry, crushed black peppercorn and oak flavours glossed by silky tannins and good acidity. Espresso, chocolate, vanilla and more black pepper comprise the lengthy, plush finish. A classic, bold Cali Zin loaded with spice, jammy fruit and sweet, woodsy oak.

100% Zinfandel
California
Produced and Bottled by Turley
15.5% Alcohol
$38 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2018

Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator

Turley Dogtown Vineyard Zinfandel Lodi 2013

turley dogtown

Winery: Turley Wine Cellars was founded by Larry Turley in 1993. Beginning with just one vineyard in St. Helena, today Turley Wine Cellars consists of 38 different old vine vineyards throughout California. The majority of the vineyards are single varietal Zinfandel or Petite Sirah [some vines even date back to the 1800’s]. “Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like”, and the winery excels at crafting wines from these single vineyards. Turley Zinfandels are noted for their “cult status”, their wine club has a waiting list that spans out over 2 years. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has said this of the Dogtown Zinfandel: “I would go so far as to say this might be one of the all-time greatest Zinfandels ever produced in Lodi”.

Philosophy: We aim to be stewards of some of California’s most distinctive vineyards,
producing authentic wines that reflect their heritage.

Winemaking: All of Turley’s vineyards are either Certified Organic by California Certified Organic Farmers, or in the process of being certified. Dogtown Vineyard was planted in 1944 and is located in the rolling hills of Clements Hills AVA. The region is known for its clay and volcanic soils. The vine yields “are consistently the lowest of all our vineyards”. Fermented with only natural yeasts and aged for 15 months in 80% used French oak, 20% new American oak.

Tasting Notes: Inky red violet in colour with aromas of dense raisin, plum and a touch of smoky cedar. Luscious cherry, blackberry and plum drape around a core of baking and peppery spices. Dark chocolate, silky fruit and smoky wisps linger enticingly between each sip. Sumptuous and opulent with a genteel edge, it’s not surprising how swiftly each glass empties [the heady alcohol content is nowhere to be tasted].

100% Zinfandel
Lodi
California
15.9% Alcohol
$66 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 95 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Valley of the Moon Zinfandel Sonoma County 2012

valleymoonzin

A fantastically well-balanced Zinfandel crafted from some of the oldest vines in Sonoma.

Estate: Valley of the Moon is one of the oldest wineries in Sonoma County, California. Grapes were first planted in 1863, and the original stone barrel cellar, constructed by Eli Sheppard in 1887 for Madrone Vineyards, is still in use today. Brothers Enrico Parducci and Peter Domenici purchased the 60 acre estate in 1941. They renamed the estate Valley of the Moon in honor of its lengthy history in Sonoma Valley [Valley of the Moon is the English translation of the Native American word Sonoma]. Planted in the 1940’s, one of their Zinfandel vineyards has some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in the region. The estate is also at the forefront of “up-and-coming wines” such as Barbera, Syrah, Sangiovese and Cuvée de la Luna, “a proprietary Bordeaux-inspired blend”.

Philosophy: “To at last honor the rich history of our Sonoma Valley winery, its true sense of place and sustained sense of purpose with wines of exceptional quality and of genuine provenance.”

Winemaking: The vineyards are noted for their rich volcanic soil and “distinctive ‘banana belt’ microclimate”. Sustainable and organic viticulture is practiced, with only natural soil amendments and pest control used.

Tasting Notes: Inky red violet in colour with aromas of cherry, white pepper and autumn woods. A rich cherry note runs thru to the finish, joining toasty oak, vanilla, black pepper and hints of caramel. Plush with a balanced use of oak, just be sure to decant for an hour or so to let those flavours plump up.

100% Zinfandel
Sonoma County
California
Produced and Bottled by Valley of the Moon Winery
15.1% Alcohol
$15
Enjoy now thru 2017