Michael Perlis at Turley Wine Cellars semi-annual pick-up party

Okay. It was Saturday morning, approaching 11:00. Almost time for the Turley Wine Cellars semi-annual pick-up party. This is the event where those mailing-list purchasers of Turley wines show up to pick up their orders, enjoy a lot of wine and food, music and camaraderie.

Former emergency room doctor Larry Turley founded Napa Valley based Turley Wine Cellars in 1993, having sold his interest in Frog’s Leap Winery, to concentrate on Zinfandel and Petite Syrah. Although the focus was originally on the Napa Valley, Turley eventually acquired grapes from premium vineyards all over California. In 2000, Turley acquired one of the oldest wineries in Paso Robles, Pesenti, along with its vineyard. Pesenti always had a nice patio area, and the pick-up parties in Paso began.

Over several years, the patio and tasting room were remodeled, and the finished product is beautiful, including a pizza oven.

As I mentioned, there was a lot of delicious food being served, and an acoustic guitarist.

But, the focus for me was the wine.

Wine was being poured all over the place…

On the veranda:

2008 “Rattlesnake Ridge” Howell Mountain Roussanne – Turley doesn’t always bottle a white wine, and when they do it is usually a Rhone blend called the White Coat. This one, which was 100% Roussanne, was terrific.

2009 “Dusi Vineyard” Paso Robles Zinfandel – I won’t carry on again about how crazy I am about this vineyard. I’ve done more than enough of that in previous articles. Still, this was possibly my favorite wine of the day.

In the tasting room:

2006 “Salvador Vineyard” Contra Costa County Zinfandel – There’s some terrific Zinfandel vineyards in Contra Costa County. This is one of them.

2008 “Pesenti Vineyard” Paso Robles Zinfandel – Zinfandel from the property we were on, and a great example of why Larry wanted this vineyard.

In the library:

2006 “Rattlesnake Ridge” Howell Mountain Petite Syrah – I don’t know what it is about Howell Mountain wines, but there is just something special about them. And, while I am obviously a big fan of the Turley Zins, I think the Petites are even better.

2006 “Hayne Vineyard” Napa Valley Petite Syrah – Turley’s flagship vineyard, and it showed.

In the barrel room, winemaker Ehren Jordan flew in for the occasion and was pouring barrel samples of the 2010 Dusi Zinfandel.

The wine literally tasted alive.

At some point, a bottle of dessert Roussanne was opened and provided a nice ending to our festivities.


Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at mcpfinancial@aol.com or michaelthezinfan@aol.com.  “It is common practice for wine industry workers, wine writers and winery club members [and members of their party] to receive complimentary tastings and discounted purchases. Unless it is otherwise noted, it should be presumed that this is the case.”

One thought on “Michael Perlis at Turley Wine Cellars semi-annual pick-up party

  1. Mike,

    Great article. I picked up a 6 bottle case of 2004 Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel that had a bottle from each block of the vineyard at the last pick-up party. I tasted 1 sample provided by Turley and it was fantastic. Can’t wait to open the case to see how much variations there are in the blocks of a single vineyard. Turley does make a fantastic zin.

    Rusty Sly

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