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
May 28, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

The Landsman Lodi Zinfandel is not just kosher, it’s a doozy

Kosher Lodi grown Zinfandel?  Maybe not something you can say was “bound to happen,” but there now is one, and it’s a doozy – produced and bottled by the Napa Valley based Covenant Wines.

The newly released 2011 Landsman Lodi Zinfandel ($40), crafted by Covenant winemaker/owner Jeff Morgan, is a genuinely rich, vivid, powerfully aromatic expression of Lodi grown Zinfandel:  teeming with raspberry and blueberry fruit qualities that are not quite jammy, yet generous enough to coat the palate with sensations akin to eating drippy berries with svelte, black lambskin gloves.  Medium-full body – that is, not coming across as fat or ponderous – and nuanced by faintly gamey whiffs that are more like the animal smells you find in black, oily, dark roast coffee beans than red meat, laced with suggestions of cardamom and cinnamon...

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Randy Caparoso
May 9, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Abba Vineyards grows Grenache comparable to “Pinot Noir”

Michael McCay, the owner/winemaker of McCay Cellars, believes that Lodi might have discovered “its own Pinot Noir.”  He’s thinking, however, that it may be red wines made from the Grenache grape.

“There is a lot of potential for Grenache in Lodi,” says McCay.  “It may become one of the great grapes of Lodi, right up there with Zinfandel.  It’s the perfect fit for our Mediterranean climate...

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Randy Caparoso
May 7, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

Michael Klouda’s Stem Theory magnifies the wild side of Cabernet grapes

If you dig super-rare wines no one else knows about, lend us your ears:  the 2011 Michael Klouda Lodi Stem Theory ($26) is a worthy follow-up to winemaker/owner Michael Klouda’s debut wine from last Spring, the 2010 Michael Klouda Broken Vine Lodi Zinfandel.  A couple of things going for Stem Theory:

1.  Mr. Klouda handcrafted 100 cases of it (doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a big jump from Broken Vine‘s measly production of 25 cases, which some zin lovers can consume all by themselves within a month)...

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Randy Caparoso
May 2, 2013 | Randy Caparoso

The wine & cheese goddesses’ choices at the ZinFest Wine School

Catherine Fallis MS & Cindy Della Monica share “Secrets of Wine & Cheese Matching”

“ZinFest wine lovers,” says Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, “prepare your taste buds for lift-off!”


In her 4-4:40 PM ZinFest Wine School presentation on Saturday, May 18, 2013, Ms. Fallis – a.k.a. the one and only grape goddess® – is teaming up with Cindy Della Monica, the owner of Lodi Wine Country‘s Cheese Central.  Ms. Della Monica, on her part, is a bonafide cheese goddess – or, shall we say, a walking encyclopedia on all things cheese (in the same way that Fallis is a walking, talking encyclopedia of wine, which is why she also teaches at San Francisco Wine School, and has counseled untold numbers of aspiring wine professionals)...

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Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Thursday - Monday 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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