2008 HARNEY LANE LODI ZINFANDEL
Better 'n dessert: This deep red zin starts off by tingling the nose with aromas of sweet berries and roasting dark coffee. Plush, juicy, almost sweet flavors roll onto the palate, and then harden up in the middle, where the feel becomes thick, meaty, not "massive," but steadily expansive with the classic, jamming Zinfandel berry qualities. For just $18, you get more than you bargain!
Crème de la zin: Lizzy and James are the Lerners' two offspring, representing the family's sixth generation living on their Lodi property. Some of the fruit from the 106 year old Lizzy James Vineyard finds its way into this blend, and more than 50% of the wine is actually from the Primitivo grape (so closely related to the actual Zinfandel as to be almost identical). Select blocks are fermented individually in half-ton macro-bins and hand punched; and with such loving, meticulous care in the winery (a practice usually associated with wines like handcrafted Pinot Noir), the pristine quality of the grape and character of the Lodi earth are further enhanced.
One spicy meatball: Who else thinks of lamb chops as more like lollipops but dyed-in-the-wool Zinfandel lovers? This is one of the Lerners' favorite zin-friendly dishes, which Jorja attributes to family friend Mike Metcalf.
2 racks of lamb, sliced into individual chops
1 cup olive oil
6 cloves of pressed garlic
3 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
Season chops with salt and pepper while preparing marinade. Mix remaining ingredients for marinade and marinate lamb for approximately 2 hours. Remove from marinade and barbecue on hot grill, about 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Savor with classic Lodi zin like Harney Lane's!