Turley Howell Mountain Rattlesnake Ridge Zinfandel 2015

Synopsis, Our Opinion: When the wine pairing calls for a Zinfandel with clout this is about as good as it gets.

Producer/Winery: Turley Wine Cellars; St. Helena, California.

Grape Variety: Zinfandel.

Geographic Appellation: Howell Mountain; Napa Valley, California.

Vintage: 2015

Price: $45.00

Purchased From: Turley Wine Cellars tasting room, Paso Robles, california.

Paired With: (First tasting) Swedish meatballs in sour cream and dill sauce with home made pasta and peas. (Second tasting) Grilled lamb patties with rice and mixed roasted vegetables.


    (First tasting) Opened 90-minutes before drinking. Opaque, dark purple/garnet color with a slightly lighter rim. Fresh raspberry and blackberry aromas. Smooth entry, big and bold, VERY fruity; significant, concentrated raspberry and cherry flavors with light spice and a long tart fruity finish that’s only one step away from tar flavor, but with quite supple tannins. WOW…HUGE bouquet, HUGE taste and HUGE flavorful finish. If your into “big & bold” this is the wine for you. Excellent with the meatballs, but on the edge of being overwhelming. To sum this up we both said it’s about as big and powerful as wine gets, but it’s both smooth and intoxicating at the same time with tannins, acidity and flavors working in harmony….and when the wine pairing calls for a Zinfandel with clout this is about as good as it gets. It’s like drinking velvet that has tons of aroma and fruity flavor. If we had another bottle I would decant it before drinking just to see if it was more gentle!!!

    (Second tasting, 2016 vintage) Opened and decanted one hour before drinking. On the verge of being opaque, dark garnet with purple tint and the same color rim. Strong raspberry, old barn wood that’s been wet, forest floor and sage aromas with momentary whifs of a field of blooming lavender. Silky smooth entry, full body and 200-grit texture. Immediate gigantic taste that includes ripe cherry, raspberry licorice, tar and chocolate; well integrated brisk acidity, powerful slightly gritty tannins and a long peppery spice finish. WOW, this is unusual Zinfandel, it’s big and powerful, but soooooo dry and dominated by the aggressive yet VERY delicious, round edged, mouth-puckering tannins. FANTASTIC paired with the lamb, but also an OUTSTANDING sipping wine after the dinner, but the aromas alone are worth the price of the wine. This could easily be called pretentious Zin, but it may be the best of the best for California Zinfandel!!!

Turley, Rattlesnake Ridge vineyard at the top of Howell Mountain
Photo from Turley.
Comments: Learn more about Turley and their wines.

Alcohol Content: 15.9%

Closure: Natural cork.

UPC Code: NA

Imported by: NA