Day Zinfandel 2017
For nearly three decades, Turley Zinfandels have been some of the most sought-after wines in all of California. The early renditions in the 1990s were known for scoring 100 points from Robert Parker and then selling out within minutes of release. If you need a fond memory, here is one from Bob himself in 1995:
“The 1993 Hayne Vineyard is one of the greatest Zinfandels I have ever tasted.
“Produced from a tiny, head-pruned vineyard planted in 1910 near the town of St. Helena, it exhibits the most saturated color, as well as a huge, fragrant nose of licorice, black fruits, spicy oak, and pepper. The wine is super-rich, with layers of full-bodied flavors that reveal ripe fruit, well-integrated tannin, and a dry, heady, blockbuster finish. Velvety-textured, massive but not overbearing or heavy, it is an extraordinary Zinfandel that should drink well for 10-15+ years.
“The wines have now been bottled and most are quickly being purchased by a highly supportive group of Zinfandel fanatics that make up the Turley Cellars’ mailing list.”
With reviews like this one, it’s no wonder that the legend of Turley Zinfandel continues to this day.
But there is a “trick” here. Turley is the name of the man who owns the winery. It’s not the name of a vineyard, and Mr. Turley is not the man making the wines. All their Zinfandels, until very recently, were made by Ehren Jordan. That’s right, all the accolades, all the scores, all the beautiful wines, were actually from Ehren Jordan.
About five years back, Ehren and Turley amicably parted ways. Ehren opened his own winery in the Russian River Valley focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Since that parting he hasn’t touched Zinfandel again – until now. Just in the past year, he produced Zinfandel again, under his wife’s maiden name “Day.” And holy smokes – it’s a stunning beauty:
I am tempted to say that Zinfandel doesn’t get any better than this, but I’ll go even a step further – I don’t think most red wines get better than this.
The nose is a stunningly gorgeous mixture of maraschino cherries, cassis, kirsch, touches of other brambly fruit, and baked black cherry pie. For all its rich, voluptuous fruit, it remains incredibly supple and fresh. If you’re like me, you can drink it, and drink it, and well, drink it – it just never slows down, it’s so sumptuously quaffable. It is a winemaking tour de force … marvelously concentrated, gorgeously perfumed, and sensational in all respects.
It’s been five years since Ehren Jordan made a Zinfandel. And he didn’t make much. We got a tiny amount – and yes, it’s expensive – but think of how Turley’s are priced nowadays – sometimes up to $125 a bottle. Here’s one of the greatest of American grapes, made by its master. The price is simply unsubstantial for what is in the bottle. Cheers!