Posts Tagged ‘the label cabernet sauvignon’

Turley The Label 2011 – Sometimes, Words Are Just Not Enough

January 20, 2014 14 comments

Turley TheLabelWine triggers emotions. Emotions become memory knots. Sometimes, just one quick look at the bottle is enough to unleash the memory flood – where, what, how, the images and thoughts are just start coming in. Wine triggers the memory of the moment in the past, and we remember what was happening. But how often do we remember the wine itself? How often do we remember the smell and the taste? Take the wine out of the context of the memorable event, just bring it back to the regular Monday night, just an average, uneventful night – how many Monday (or any other regular weekday or weekend) night bottles can you recall?

And then there are wines which require no memorable setting to be memorable on their own. The wines which don’t bring the memories of the moment, but rather memory of itself. Those wines are rare, few and far in between. But they exist. And from time to time, we are lucky enough to encounter one more. My latest encounter? 2011 Turley The Label.

2011 Turley The Label Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (13.4% ABV) was released in the late fall of 2013, and came out in its traditional simple bottle. Dark garnet color liquid went into the glass. Swirl, another swirl, sniff… OMG. What is it? What is this wonderful aroma, which doesn’t let you put the glass down – nor take a sip – the first smell commands another… and another … and another. At first, you are not even looking for the right words to describe what you smell, you just keep enjoying the aroma. Then the brain starts moving impatiently – “I know this smell, I know this smell, come on, come on”. All of a sudden, the realization comes in – yes, I do know the smell. It is black currant. Bot not the berries. It is the leaves. It’s those meaty, big green leaves on a hot summer day – that’s what it is – and the smell is incredible.

Similar to the fresh meadows of Fiction, or gunflint of Frédéric Gueguen Chablis, those fresh black currant leaves of Turley The Label create an unforgettable image – really a memorable wine in its own right. The magnificent smell was followed by the dark supple fruit on the palate – blackberries and black currant, with firm tannins. It took the wine three days to open up and to actually show what it is capable of, when dark chocolate and espresso joined the profile of much brighter fruit, well structured with supple tannins, good acidity and overall perfect balance. Definitely a great wine which will need about 10 years to really come to its best. Drinkability: 8+

What are your most memorable wines? I would love to hear your stories. Happy Monday and cheers!

Turley The Label Cabernet Sauvignon: Don’t Judge a Wine by its Bottle

December 8, 2012 6 comments

Turley The Label - LabelAs promised, the bottle of 2010 Turley The Label Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($40, 14.5% ABV) was open today, and here are my notes – almost live, as I still have some wine left in the glass. For those who just run into this post, it is pretty much a sequel to my rant about the bottle, which is extremely indiscreet, and the post answering that rant and explaining that the bottle looks that way by design.

Now let’s go past the bottle itself, and let’s talk about the content – i. e., the wine. Considering that I started from the rant, I wanted to give this bottle a proper evaluation, so here we go, step by step. We even reached out for the Reidel Cabernet glasses, which are only used for the special occasions.

Color: Dark garnet color. You can’t read through the glass, so the wine definitely needs more time.

Rim variation: absent, it is a young wine. But – rim is pretty wide, which suggests high alcohol content.

Smell: Blueberries, hint of tobacco, earthiness, a touch of barnyard (which I personally like) – on the nose, this wine resembled Dunn Cabernet.

Taste: earthy, with touch of green notes which disappeared after ten minutes in the glass, alcohol initially noticeable, but as wine continued to breathe, it became well integrated. Tobacco and dark chocolate notes, touch of eucalyptus, fresh plums, black currant  and more blueberries – but restrained, no blueberry jam of any kind.

Legs: Very visible, also carrying some color – suggesting that this is full-bodied wine.

Finish: Long. Tannins only started showing up after about 30 seconds, and then they lingered for probably another minute.

Conclusion: This is one beautiful wine. This wine was described by the winemakers as an attempt to recreate Napa Cabernet as it was in 60th and 70th, more of restrained and down to earth type – I think this attempt was very successful. The wine was very balanced, with fruit, acidity and tannins being in a complete harmony. Drinkability: 9-

I’m not going to recite my learned lessons again (I already recouped them in the previous post), but yes – don’t judge a wine by its bottle, at least I will try not to. Cheers!



Feeling Stupid and Sorry, Apologies to the Turley Wine Cellars, and Marketing 101

December 7, 2012 8 comments

Yesterday I was a snob, today I feel more like an idiot. In yesterday’s rant, I was complaining about the feel, shape and overall appearance of the bottle of 2010 Turley The Label Cabernet Sauvignon – first release of Cabernet wine by the famed Zinfandel producer. Then, while reading the comment by VinoInLove, I realized that I should find the offering letter and see if I’m not missing something.

Unfortunately, I have a bad habit – I keep old papers and e-mails around. So of course I found it. And then I read it. And then complemented myself on being… yeah, I already said it. Here it is, the offering letter, pretty much in its entirety (to drill it deeper, I even highlighted the key sentence):

Turley_TheLabel_DescriptionSo, my apologies to the Turley Wine Cellars – my yesterday’s rant was not justified. Or, was it, may be just a bit?

We can get good lessons from any situation, this one being no exception. Personal lesson – the rant have to wait. If I would give it a bit of time, do a bit of research (i.e., find that offer e-mail), this all would be averted and I will not have to call myself names. But – there is also a marketing lesson here. I believe fundamental marketing mistake took place. Brand new product was introduced. The [very] unusual product for the given producer. It should be expected that additional marketing would be needed to help people to accept that unusual product. All it would take was to put a piece of paper with exact same description into every box, and “bad surprise” problem would be probably 80% fixed. It would be even better if the same information would go on the back label, which is pretty much wasted right now. And that would fix 90% of the problem.

Now, this whole situation forced me to read the back label. Carefully. And now I’m puzzled again. The first sentence of the “Vision” statement above says that this wine is a modern reinterpretation of the 60’s and 70’s classic, with lower alcohol level. Care to guess the ABV listed? It is 14.5%. I have some serious doubts that California Cabernet of 60’s was listing 15% ABV. Now this gets interesting – I’m really curious how this wine will taste like. Thus – to be continued…

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