Turley 2002 Zinfandel Dogtown Vineyard

“Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again,” might be a very good thing, because this wine comes from a vineyard in the Central Valley of California, in that much maligned town of Lodi. If everything from Lodi is as good as this wine, I’m moving there.

I can’t imagine a better wine to go with some pan-seared steaks. What? I should have grilled them? When I need a snow blower to clear a path to my grill, the pleasures of outdoor cooking begin to pale. Rest assured, I will grill when I get one of the brats to shovel a path to the trusty Weber. Anyway, my first sniff of this gorgeous, purplish wine smacked me in the head with a blast of what I can only describe as caramel. And that surprised me, because at a whopping 16.5% alcohol I expected a hot blast of vapor. But the nose was lovely, smooth and balanced. My first sips revealed some nicely integrated fruit (I have given up trying to identify the specific flavor) with a solid backbone of soft tannins. Nothing drying or out of balance. There was a bit of that sweet caramel too, but very subtle. The finish was nice and balanced, with none of the sere flavors of an overly alcoholic wine. It wasn’t particularly long or powerful, which leads me to believe that this wine is at its peak and will not improve much, which is okay by me, because I have only one more bottle. Just writing that depresses me.

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