An outstanding offering from Lodi, the dark ruby/purple-tinged 2009 Zinfandel Dogtown offers up scents of sweet licorice, burning embers and gobs of ripe black raspberry and black currant fruit intermixed with hints of charcuterie and meat spices. This broad, flavorful, delicious wine is already irresistible and should provide pleasure over the next 2-4 years. Larry Turley and his sidekick, longtime winemaker Ehren Jordan remain the reference point, along with Mike Officer at Carlisle in Sonoma and the Biale Family in Napa, for world-class, quintessential old vine Zinfandels. Sadly, few California Zinfandels reach these heights. 2009 is a softer, lighter-styled vintage for Turley, but the wines are already charming and irresistible. They should be ready to drink when released and best consumed in their first 4-6 years of life. The exceptions are a few of the old vine cuvees as well as their Petite Syrahs, which are all 30-50-year wines. Surprisingly, the alcohol levels are nearly as high as usual, running between 15.1% and 16.5% for the Zinfandels and 1 to 2% lower in the Petite Syrahs.
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