The 1997 Zinfandel Duarte Vineyard (from 102-year old vines; 15.4% alcohol) is the finest wine I have tasted from this source. Duarte is one of the few remaining California vineyards where the vines are planted on their own roots, rather than being grafted, as the region's sandy soils have proved to be resistant to the phylloxera disease. This wine always seems to have a dusty, balsam wood, Provencal herb, peppery note, but the 1997 reveals more cherry liqueur and black raspberries. Additionally, the color is a saturated dark ruby/purple. Full-bodied and concentrated, with deep layers of flavor that inundate the palate, it should drink well for 5-7 years. As I have stated many times in the past, Turley Cellars' offerings have become the reference point for Zinfandel, as they are the most complex, concentrated, hedonistic wines ever produced from this varietal... As for the 1997 Zinfandels, Larry Turley feels they "are the best wines we have yet made." The wines are amazingly good, and as the following tasting notes suggest, readers could buy blind here and always end up with a juicy, complex, mouth filling Zinfandel.
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