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.
Treasure Island winefest memories
Kodakchrome clear blue skies, perfect wine sipping temperatures, and precisely parallel white vapors trailing soaring Blue Angels like a hexagram of the heavens, the strings of Snap Jackson’s guitar, high, low, hither and yon across the San Francisco Bay: these were but some of the highlights of Lodi’s 2011 Treasure Island WineFest this past Sunday, October 8.
So were the savory or achingly tender cheeses of artisans like Fescalini, Sonoma and Nicasio Valley — oh, what happy cows can render — and sweet nothings by love gangstas like Truffle Gateau and Desperately Seeking Chocolate, not to mention the virginal California olive oils (by Coldani, Lucero, Lodi and Sierra) so smooth your could drink it, as well as the delicately herbed, toothsome grains dished out by cheerful denizens in rose colored glasses (gotta love Pasta Pomodoro!).
If you weren’t there, perhaps you might experience some of it through the photographs in this post, and make a mental bookmark for next year: don’t make the mistake of missing it again! In the meantime, in between time, it was also all about the wines of Lodi, which you can experience anytime. Of the 200+ that were poured on Treasure Island, there was an embarassment of richness — liquids making wine lovers left and right go weak in the knees. Just to name a few:
2009 St. Jorge, Lodi Vinho Tinta Belo – This Portuguese grape specialist’s wild, almost primeval, masculine blend of Souzão, Tempranillo and Touriga grapes
2008 Barsetti, Lodi Zinfandel – Electrifying mixture of raspberry, cracked peppercorns and spice cake under a silken, sleek veneer
2010 Peirano, Lodi Immortal Zin – Tasting of strawberry fields forever, one of the first of the 2010 Zinfandels to be released (a vintage many experts say might be Lodi’s best ever)
2009 LangeTwins, Lodi Zinfandel – Massala chai, swatches of velvet, and wafting pirogues of cakes slathered with cherry and raspberry preserves
2009 Macchia, Rebellious Lodi Petite Sirah – Broad, bustling, buxom, prickly basket of black and blueberries, like Suicide Girls morphed into women of G.L.O.R.Y and proceeding to take numbers…
Get the picture? If you can’t wait ’til the 2012 Treasure Island WineFest, there is an opportunity to come out to Lodi during the region’s fall 2011 harvest celebration called The First Sip (November 12-13, 2011); when over 40 wineries will fling open their doors to allow you to taste wines from barrels, while they’re still tasting like raw, unadulturated, exhilarating party juice. Read all about it, mark it down, and enjoy Lodi wine!