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.
Michael David does the reggay and Rhone…
There’s a word we used to use in Jamaica called ‘streggae’. If a gal is walking and the guys look at her and say “Man, she’s streggae” it means she don’t dress well, she look raggedy. The girls would say that about the men too. This one morning me and my two friends were playing and I said,”’okay man, let’s do the reggay.” It was just something that came out of my mouth. So we just start singing “Do the reggay, do the reggay” and created a beat. - Toots Hibbert (Toots & the Maytals)
Is there any music that loosens up the backbone, liberates the mind and opens up the senses more than reggae?
For Lodi’s Michael David Winery, the annual REGGAE & RHONE concert is important not only because it does just that, but also because it expresses the kinky, slinky, slippin’, slidin’, carefree joy and spice of wines blended with grapes that originated from France’s Rhône Valley – which grow so readily in this river delta region.
Take Michael David’s 2009 Lodi Incognito Red ($18), for instance: a complex yet explosive blend in which sweetly scented black skinned grapes like Carignane, Grenache and Cinsaut form the syncopated off-beat (the “skank”) played by the keyboards and snare drum; the densely tannic and meaty Mourvèdre and Tannat grapes playing the loose and jagged, bottom rhythms of the bass and guitar; with the perfumed, flowery and cracked peppercorn spiced Syrah grape singing sweetly above those irrepressible sensations – sometimes in the high tones like a Jimmy Cliff (the harder they come…), sometimes with the ferocious growl of a Toots (time tough!), and often with the plaintive, soulful cries of a Marley (one love…).
Ditto, Michael David’s mouth-wateringly fresh, pure, lime and lemony crisp 2010 Lodi Incognito White ($18); which weaves syncopated textures of the Viognier grape (giving a soft, luxurious feel and extravagant honeysuckle notes), the Chardonnay (adding apple/pear crunch), Sauvignon Blanc (honeydew and spring fresh leafiness), plus Muscat Blanc and Roussanne (exotic, spicy perfumes).
The hundreds of Lodi wine lovers who attended this past Saturday night’s REGGAE & RHONE (August 18, 2012) at Michael David Winery were able to put this musical/wine theory to the test as soon as the gates were opened at 6 PM; when Jamaican born Mystic Bowie began to churn out his high energy, skanking melodies, stopping only two times over a four hour period: the second time, as soon as the sun sank over the delta, to allow Fire Pixie to come onto the grass and put on their spectacular show of fire eating prowess and pyrotechnic gymnastics.
The Rhône and Reggae lovers were also able to enjoy Breadfruit Tree’s reggae inspired, Caribbean style barbecue with sips of Michael David’s sexy, violet scented 2010 6th Sense Lodi Syrah, as well the incredibly lush, velvety 2010 Michael David Bechthold Vineyard Lodi Cinsaut.
Not to mention the double-spice driven 2010 Michael David Lodi Petite-Petit, the humongous 2009 Earthquake Lodi Petite Sirah, the tropically scented 2010 Lodi 7 Heavenly Chards, the ever-smooth 2009 Lodi 7 Deadly Zins, and the fleshy, showy 2010 Michael David Freakshow Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon.
Did you miss this incredible jammin’-in-the-name-of-the-RHONE event? Well, there’s always next August. Meanwhile, more photographic memories: