Archive for July, 2013

Pictorial guide to what makes Lodi Zinfandel so unique

July 30th, 2013
Pictorial guide to what makes Lodi Zinfandel so unique

So you think you know Lodi Zinfandel?  If you are ready to get your geek on, let’s delve into the six major reasons why Lodi grown Zinfandels are the way they are:  so compellingly lush, round, gentle, bright, and often distinctly earthy… Moderate Mediterranean climate influenced by cool coastal winds blowing through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta Very porous yet rich, sandy loam soil (in Tokay series) on mostly lower lying, flat to gently sloped topography Choice of planting practices (most of Lodi’s older Zinfandel plantings are cultivated as head trained “goblets”) Choice of rootstocks (most of Lodi’s older Zinfandel plantings.. VIEW MORE »

The 10 most interesting Lodi grown wines of 2013

July 23rd, 2013
The 10 most interesting Lodi grown wines of 2013

So far in 2013 a number of winery releases have come out that are just begging to be cobbled together in one group.  We’ll call them exactly what they seem to us:  The 10 most interesting wines in Lodi. We’re not saying the “10 best,” mind you.  “Best” is always subjective, and anyone would be totally correct to say that any list of Lodi’s “best” would probably be dominated by Zinfandels produced by Harney Lane, St. Amant, Macchia, or any number of Lodi’s heralded, artisanal producers.  Zinfandel, after all, is the most natural wine grape to grow in Lodi’s Mediterranean.. VIEW MORE »

The most spectacular time of year: veraison 2013 in Lodi

July 17th, 2013
The most spectacular time of year:  veraison 2013 in Lodi

During the past two weeks Lodi Wine Country has been in the midst of véraison:  the originally French viticultural term which translates into “onset of ripening.” What is happening before our eyes?  Berries in grapes destined to produce red wines are beginning to don their mid-season apparel – brilliant, beautiful shades of red, violet and blue – as the green colored chlorophyll in their skins start to break down.  It is a spectacular time of year.  Berries destined to produce white wines begin to form carotenoids; while in red wine varieties, anthocyanins, xanthophylls, flavonoids, volatile compounds, and phenolic compounds – building blocks crucial to red.. VIEW MORE »

Forlorn Hope produces stunning Lodi grown “orange” wine

July 5th, 2013
Forlorn Hope produces stunning Lodi grown “orange” wine

What do you think of orange wines?  Even longtime wine lovers and “experts” get thrown for a loop the first time they are asked that question.  The first thing you think, of course, is, “I didn’t know they make wine from oranges.” Orange wines, however, are exactly that:  wines made from the usual wine grapes, but finished with an orange-ish color.  Many of the better orange wines have been made from commonly known white wine grapes – like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer – but are fermented on their skins, rather than without their skins the way white.. VIEW MORE »

Why the “R” Grenache, voted “Best Red Wine in Lodi,” may be among California’s finest

July 2nd, 2013
Why the “R” Grenache, voted “Best Red Wine in Lodi,” may be among California’s finest

This past June the judges at the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition voted on 2013’s “Best Red Wine in Lodi”:  the 2012 Jeff Runquist “R” Alta Mesa-Lodi Grenache ($20), sourced from Ron Silva’s Silvaspoons Vineyards. Has Grenache “arrived?” First, let’s look at exactly what it is about the Grenache produced by the Amador County based Jeff Runquist Wines that had the State Fair judges so enthralled:  vivid violet-red color; gushy, high toned, strawberry coulis-like fragrance with smidgens of hazelnut-like wood complexities seeping out from the seams; and sharply defined, silky-fine texturing, giving the wine’s plump red berryishness a soft.. VIEW MORE »