Private Collection - Sandlands, Turley and the Hard Work of Tegan Passalaqua

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It's a  treat for us to be able to offer out our favorite California producers with any real vintage depth. These are usually winemakers who prize old vines and top-quality farming over volume and so there is often very little to go around. Wines get drunk young and we are left to wonder what a bottle might have been like had we had the patience to wait.

So we are practically beside ourselves to present you today with a fabulous parcel of assorted wines from both Turley Estates and Sandlands. We are putting them out today together because both wineries are helmed by one of our California heroes, the one and only Tegan Passalaqua. Others have written more eloquently about Tegan elswhere - he is a central figure in Jon Bonné's seminal work The New California Wine - so we will keep it short here.

Tegan has done a huge amount of heavy lifting in his years as the winemaker at Turley, working with small growers all over Northern California to help improve farming standards and reduce irrigation. While the wines he makes at Turley and his own wines at Sandlands often diverge stylistically, they all begin with vineyards, usually very old, that have often rehabilitated and carefully looked after to help unlock their full potential. This is a rare opportunity to try a bottle of these wines with the perspective of a few years in the bottle. Sam Ehrlich

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Sandlands 2018 Contra Costa County Red Table Wine

Sandlands is a project by acclaimed winemaker Tegan Passalacqua to explore the unsung, lesser-know grapes thriving in California. This blend comes from a century-old vineyard in Contra Costa County on 'Delhi blow sand' (decomposed granite that was blown into the area)  and is a mix of 55% Carignane and 45% Mataro.  Tegan describes this wine with notes of "sun ripened peach, plum, orange rind, with a chalky acid driven finish. "

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Sandlands 2019 Amador County Chenin Blanc

This comes from forty-year old vines planted at 1500 feet above sea level in volcanic and decomposing granite, dry-farmed and on their own roots.

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Sandlands 2019 Contra Costa County Red Table Wine

Sandlands is a project by acclaimed winemaker Tegan Passalacqua to explore the unsung, lesser-know grapes thriving in California. This blend comes from three of the oldest California vineyards and is in equal parts Cinsault from the Bechthold Vineyard (planted in 1886), Carignane from Spenker Ranch (1900), and Zinfandel from Kirschenmann Vineyard (1915). The winemakers describe this vintage with notes of "black cherry, apricot, black tea, granular, smooth finish."

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Sandlands 2019 Lodi Zinfandel

This classically styled Lodi Zin is sourced from the Kirschenmann Vineyard in Lodi. The vines were planted in 1915, in white sand soils.

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Turley 2017 Napa Hayne Zinfandel

This Turley bottling of Zinfandel comes from one of their most prized sites, the Hayne Vineyard. Located on the west side of St. Helena Mountain, the vines, planted in 1902 are dry-farmed and headtrained to allow the vines to struggle just enough to create exceptional grapes. 

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Turley 2018 Napa Hayne Petit Syrah

The Hayne vineyard is home to some of the oldest vines in Napa Valley, with the Petite Syrah vines planted in 1953. These vines are entirely head-trained, dry farmed, and farmed organically. This wine is bold and powerful in its youth, but ages beautifully and develops a more elegant, softer side as it evolves.

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