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.
Beauty of whole berry Sangiovese fermentation at Sorelle Winery
• Shows the pure beauty of the Sangiovese grape in the field, and how gracefully it has adapted to the sandy/clay loam soil in Sorelle's vineyard, located at the southernmost edge of the Lodi AVA, just a few feet north of the Calaveras River.
• Gives you a good moving picture of the meticulous care that the Scott family takes in the vineyard and winery – particularly the whole berry fermentation of the Sangiovese fruit, which brings out the brightest, freshest natural qualities of the grape.
The winery's current release – the 2010 Sorelle Troppo Bella Lodi Sangiovese ($23) – is, in fact, a beauty: finely focused and filigreed fragrances of black cherry and rose petal in amongst a backdrop suggesting dried herb potpourri; the delicate array of flavors surfacing in a sleekly textured medium body of both delicacy and strength, zipped up by a crackling natural acidity that stops short of being sharp; with moderate strands of tannin woven deftly in between, adding an al dente firmness to the feel.
For those of you prefer a slightly deeper, weightier, oak influenced style – not unlike many of the authentic "Super Tuscan" Sangiovese based reds produced in Italy's Chianti region – the 2009 Sorelle Lodi Sangiovese Reserve ($28) hits on all cylinders, with lush, velvety flavors of noticeable viscosity and zestiness, finished with a richly polished veneer of sweet white oak.
No tour of Lodi wine country is complete without a visit to the 4-acre Sorelle estate, which sits on a property once owned by Jonathan Holt Dodge, supplying wine grapes to Stockton's historic El Pinal Winery through the late nineteenth century. The original Dodge House, built in 1866, still stands, in front of Sorelle's Sangiovese block, and is also marked by a plaque bestowed by the Daughters of the American Revolution, identifying the site as the camp grounds of John C. Frémont and Kit Carson in 1825.
Although as it were, Sorelle’s remarkable Lodi grown Sangiovese is plenty enough reason to visit!