||95 RP - The 1997 Zinfandel Aida Vineyard (from 30-year old vines; 16.8% alcohol) is once again the Chateauneuf du Pape of northern California. This wine boasts an herbes de Provence, garrigue, peppery, black raspberry-scented, exotic nose that is eerily similar to a top-class Chateauneuf. The color is a saturated dark ruby/purple, and the wine unleashes its full power with layers of roasted meats, pepper, and jammy fruit flavors. This stunning Zinfandel will overload most tasters' olfactory sensors. Moreover, it should drink well for 7-8 years. As I have stated many times in the past, Turley Cellars' offerings have become the reference point for Zinfandel, as they are the most complex, concentrated, hedonistic wines ever produced from this varietal. Critics claim the alcohol levels are too high, but proprietor Larry Turley and his winemaker, Ehren Jordan, would argue that the alcohol levels are high only because they harvested fully ripe fruit. Turley and Jordan have also taken the art of wine making to a higher playing field. At the same time, they have resurrected a bevy of old head-pruned Zinfandel vineyards that had largely been ignored, or had their crops sold off to be unceremoniously blended into white Zinfandel. Turley Cellars' goal is to produce 10,000 cases of unfiltered, hand-crafted Zinfandel. As for the 1997 Zinfandels, Larry Turley feels they "are the best wines we have yet made." The wines are amazingly good, and as the following tasting notes suggest, readers could buy blind here and always end up with a juicy, complex, mouth filling Zinfandel.