Archive for June, 2012

Delicious winemaker obsessions over “odd” grapes and blends

June 27th, 2012
Delicious winemaker obsessions over “odd” grapes and blends

An heirloom vine grows in Lodi What is it with winemakers and their “odd” varieties and blends?  Well, as Robert Mondavi always used to say, winemaking is as much an art as it is a science; and if there’s even a speck of truth to that statement, we have to expect something coming out of left field from some of our more artistic winemakers every once in a while. Sometimes they produce a wine that is as outlandishly good as it is unusual, and it ends up getting picked out of over a thousand other white wines for an honor.. VIEW MORE »

Mohr-Fry’s celebrated Alicante Bouschet may soon be kicking up daisies, not gold medals

June 25th, 2012
Mohr-Fry’s celebrated Alicante Bouschet may soon be kicking up daisies, not gold medals

One of the Lodi AVA’s most venerated plantings – Mohr-Fry Ranches’ twelve and a half acres of Alicante Bouschet, which originally went into the ground in 1921 – may not be long for this world, which would be a tragic turn of events. Especially when you taste the recently released 2009 Harmony Wynelands Lodi Alicante Bouschet ($30), sourced completely from Mohr-Fry Ranches.  The ‘09 was this winery’s third vintage to win a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and for very good reason:  it’s a vividly dark red, solid as a Chevy truck, plush and beefy, with.. VIEW MORE »

Lodi’s best-of-the-best wines at the 2012 California State Fair

June 22nd, 2012
Lodi’s best-of-the-best wines at the 2012 California State Fair

Lodi grown wines garnered their share California State Fair awards, announced earlier this week.  That’s impressive, considering that there were 2,890 wines, made by 688 wineries, submitted for sober adjudication by 72 distinguished wine judges. 2,156 of these wines earned medals; but more importantly, a handful of  Lodi grown wines that garnered top top honors at the State Fair.  Especially this one – grown by Lodi’s Portuguese grape king, Ron Silva, up there in Galt – which was named best white wine period (“better” than over a 1,000 other white wines, of every type and in every category, entered into.. VIEW MORE »

The soul of a winegrower in Lodi’s Twisted Roots

June 18th, 2012
The soul of a winegrower in Lodi’s Twisted Roots

When Ross Schmiedt talks about wine quality, family and sustainability – something he does all the time, with inspiring ebullience, even from the confines of his wheelchair (in recent years Mr. Schmiedt has been impaired by ALS) – you quickly realize that in his mind, all three things are one and the same. First, about quality:  you will not find a purer, less mucked up or unfettered expression of Lodi AVA grown Zinfandel than the 2010 Twisted Roots 1918 Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel ($25):  an unusually zesty, almost prickly-briary, yet smoothly balanced, moderately weighted style of red wine that is.. VIEW MORE »

Going mad about saffron & Iberian grapes at the TAPAS Grand Tasting

June 13th, 2012
Going mad about saffron & Iberian grapes at the TAPAS Grand Tasting

46 wineries and growers presented cutting-edge wines made from grapes of Spanish or Portuguese origin at the 5th annual TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates Producers & Amigos Society) Grand Wine Tasting in San Francisco’s Fort Mason this past Saturday, June 9. Yet one could argue that the biggest hit at this year’s TAPAS showcase was not a wine or winemaker, but a dish:  the sumptuous, golden paella made by Lodi’s own Addy’s Paella, which has to be tasted to be believed:  saffron infused rice (utilizing authentic arroz from Spain), shrimp, chicken, Lockeford sausage, and the most pungent, garlicky aioli made west of.. VIEW MORE »