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.
So you think you know Lodi Zinfandel? If you are ready to get your geek on, let’s delve into the six major reasons why Lodi grown Zinfandels are the way they are: so compellingly lush, round, gentle, bright, and often distinctly earthy…Continue »
So far in 2013 a number of winery releases have come out that are just begging to be cobbled together in one group. We’ll call them exactly what they seem to us: The 10 most interesting wines in Lodi.
We’re not saying the “10 best,” mind you. “Best” is always subjective, and anyone would be totally correct to say that any list of Lodi’s “best” would probably be dominated by Zinfandels produced by Harney Lane, St. Amant, Macchia, or any number of Lodi’s heralded, artisanal producers. Zinfandel, after all, is the most natural wine grape to grow in Lodi’s Mediterranean climate – it loves the warm yet moderated weather, and it loves the deep, rich yet well drained sandy loam soils – which is why Lodi grows more Zinfandel than any other wine region in California...Continue »
What do you think of orange wines? Even longtime wine lovers and “experts” get thrown for a loop the first time they are asked that question. The first thing you think, of course, is, “I didn’t know they make wine from oranges.”
Orange wines, however, are exactly that: wines made from the usual wine grapes, but finished with an orange-ish color. Many of the better orange wines have been made from commonly known white wine grapes – like Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Pinot gris or Gewürztraminer – but are fermented on their skins, rather than without their skins the way white wines are usually made. This, essentially, is treating white wine grapes the exact same way as black skinned grapes used to produce red wines: red wines are always fermented on their skins, which is where they get their color, tannin, and most of their flavor components...Continue »
This past June the judges at the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition voted on 2013’s “Best Red Wine in Lodi”: the 2012 Jeff Runquist “R” Alta Mesa-Lodi Grenache ($20), sourced from Ron Silva’s Silvaspoons Vineyards.
Has Grenache “arrived?”
First, let’s look at exactly what it is about the Grenache produced by the Amador County based Jeff Runquist Wines that had the State Fair judges so enthralled: vivid violet-red color; gushy, high toned, strawberry coulis-like fragrance with smidgens of hazelnut-like wood complexities seeping out from the seams; and sharply defined, silky-fine texturing, giving the wine’s plump red berryishness a soft yet notably snappy, lip smacking, bright and lively feel...Continue »