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.
When certain vintners speak, many others are listening. Bruce Neyers, who has owned the acclaimed Napa Valley based Neyers Vineyards (tucked into Conn Valley, in the eastern mountains surrounding the shimmering Lake Hennessey) since 1992, has recently been spreading the word to his legions of wine savvy followers, in every state from Hawai`i to New York: there is Zinfandel unlike any other being grown in Lodi’s eastern hills.
The 2011 Neyers Vista Luna Vineyard Lodi Zinfandel ($24) is, by all definitions of the varietal, a beaut. That is to say, not a beast. Its medium-full body has a very refined, silky feel, with spice nuanced raspberry/rhubarb pie flavors punctuated and woven together by lively, lip smacking acidity, without being sharp. There is some mild, sinewy tannin (think Angelina Jolie’s, not Brad Pitt’s, biceps) flowing through the center, and just smidgens of sweet oak lingering way in the backdrop. A Zinfandel for contemporary tastes for restraint, yet not without complexity – almost the opposite of what many people think about Lodi Zinfandel today...Continue »
Hundreds of related family, friends and colleagues gathered at Vinewood Community Church and Harney Lane Winery today to remember and celebrate the life of George Mettler (born March 14, 1943), who passed away this past February 15, 2013 (please see our September 2013 post, the patriarch of Harney Lane).
In many ways, the Harney Lane Lodi Patriarch’s Promise ($40) – a varietal blend sourced from grapes grown on the winery property, from four vintages (2007 through 2010) – is a direct reflection of the man, for whom home, love, laughter, family (and just below that, farming and fly fishing) loomed largest. On a sensory level, the Patriarch’s is deep, dense yet perfectly smooth; with flavors of berried trail-mix spiced with cinnamon, cracked pepper and earth toned suggestions of fennel root and mushrooms, plucked from rich, organic loam...Continue »