Letters from Lodi

An insightful and objective look at viticulture and winemaking from the Lodi
Appellation and the growers and vintners behind these crafts. Told from the
perspective of multi-award winning wine journalist, Randy Caparoso.

Randy Caparoso
January 9, 2012 | Randy Caparoso

Lodi wines are big winners at 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Two of Kyle and Jorja Lerner's Harney Lane wines were Gold medal winners at the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition...

The medal winners at the ultra-prestige 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition were announced last week (January 6).  Duplicating results of recent years, wines grown in the Lodi AVA took home an impressive share of top honors.

This year’s SFCWC set a new American wine competition record with a palate boggling 5,500 entries, surpassing its previous record of 5,050 last year; laying claiming to its boast of being the “Largest Competition of American Wines in the World.”

65 of the most descriminating judges in the world blind tasted wines by producers from all over the U.S.  Although entries were dominated by West Coast wineries, organizers were proud of the fact that the three “Sweepstake” (i.e. overall) winners were represented by three different states:  a Gewürztraminer from New York, a Sangiovese rosé from Washington, and a sparkler, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a sweet Late Harvest Gewürztraminer from California.

Chronicle Wine Editor Jon Bonne singled out Liz and Markus Bokisch’s Garnacha as Best of Class winners and one of 2011 Top 100 wines (in the world!)…

While noting in the Chronicle’s Inside Scoop that it was a “big feather in hat” for a Livermore Valley winery to take a “sweeps” in the “enormous” red wine category, Wine Editor Jon Bonné singled out the fact that the previous vintage of “Best of Class” winner 2009 Bokisch Garnacha also made the publication’s list of Top 100 Wines (in the world!) in 2011.

Out of the 80 varietal/style/price categories of wines that were judged, no less than six wines bearing the Lodi appellation earned Best of Class distinctions.  Drum roll, please…

2010 Incognito Lodi White ($18)
2010 6th Sense Lodi Syrah ($20)
2009 Bokisch, Terra Alta Vineyard Clements Hills-Lodi Garnacha ($18)
2010 Gnarly Head, Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($12)
2009 Klinker Brick, Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($18)
2006 Peltier Station, Lodi Teroldego ($35)

The Mettlers (Larry with Kim Mettler Eells) garnered a gold for their outstanding "Epicenter" zin...

Then there were the “Double Golds” (signifying a judging panel’s unaminous selection), garnered by five Lodi grown wines:

2008 McCay, Lodi Paisley ($24)
2010 Earthquake Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($26)
2009 V. Sattui, Pilgrim Vineyard Lodi Zinfandel ($34)
2009 Borra, Fusion Lodi Red ($19)
2009 Rapture, Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon ($60)

Special kudos goes out to Michael-David Winery, who produced two of Lodi’s Best of Class winners (their 2009 Incognito White and 2010 6th Sense Syrah) plus their two Double Gold winning wines, Earthquake and Rapture.

Among the Lodi based wineries earning Gold medals, Van Ruiten Family Winery distinguished itself by earning a total of three top awards.  The honor roll of Lodi grown Gold medal winners:

2010 Loredona, Lodi Viognier ($11)
2010 Van Ruiten Family, Lodi Pinot Grigio ($13)
2010 Fenestra, Silvaspoons Vineyard Lodi Verdelho ($15)
2009 Harney Lane, Lodi Tempranillo ($25)
2010 Loma Prieta, Amorosa Vineyard Lodi Pinotage ($45)
2009 Sorelle, Manna Ranch Reserve Lodi Primitivo ($27)
2009 Harney Lane, Lizzy James Vineyard Lodi Zinfandel ($33)
2010 JK Estates, Lodi Zinfandel ($11)
2010 Cameron Hughes, Lot 291 Lodi Zinfandel ($12)
2009 Mikami Vineyards, Lodi Zinfandel ($35)
2010 Macchia, Luxurious Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($26)
2009 Mettler, Epicenter Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($20)
2009 Scotto Family, Lodi Zinfandel ($17)
2009 Van Ruiten Family, Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel ($15)
2010 Van Ruiten Family, Lodi Cab-Shiraz ($19)
2008 Dancing Fox, Zorro Lodi Red ($24)

For a complete list of 2012 medal winners, including dozens more Silver and Bronze medal winners grown in Lodi, visit the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competiton Web site at  Congratulations to all of Lodi’s top award winners!

Michael McCay (with family) has produced a consistent winner in his Zinfandel/Petite Sirah blend called Paisley...



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