Tasting notes: Planted in 1886, this Cinsault from the Bechthold vineyard is the oldest of its kind in the country—perhaps even beyond. The vines are gnarly, head-trained and planted on their own roots. The wine is clear in complexion and gives off aromas of berries, flowers, and sweet spices. The palate is soft and silky in texture and shows flavors of spiced cherries. The bright acidity and low ABV(12.6%) makes this just the thing to satisfy the new wave of wine lovers who seek the lighter, more crushable reds.
Producer: After founding the Frog's Leap winery with business partner John Williams in 1981, then ER physician Larry Turley had taken a shining to the wines made from Zinfandel & Petite Syrah, growing particularly fond of those made from old vine vineyards. Eventually, he sold his half of Frog’s Leap to John and started Turley Wine Cellars in 1993. Because Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like, Turley now makes 28 separate wines from 35 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Often weak and decaying, these old vine vineyards require extra care and attention in order to restore them to their former glory. After twenty-five years in the emergency room, Larry can now focus his resuscitative skills on the various old vineyards that comprise the wines he loves.
Vineyard and Winemaking: Primarily focused on single vineyard designate Zinfandel and Petite Syrah and working with old vine vineyards, Larry aimed to both create and preserve California’s unique winemaking culture. Today, all of Turley's vineyards are either Certified Organic by California Certified Organic Farmers or in the process of certification, and they use all natural yeasts during fermentation. Tegan Passalacqua was hired as Head Winemaker and Vineyard Manager in 2013 and now manages over two dozen vineyards throughout California. Bechtoldt is the oldest continuously farmed vineyard in the Lodi AVA, consisting of 25 acres of gnarled, own-rooted head-trained vines and was originally planted in 1885 by Joseph Spenker. The fruit is dry-farmed and hand-harvested before fermenting whole-cluster with native yeast in 100% used French oak. The wine ages for 7 months in barrel before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
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