2014 Michael Klouda Wines Mourvedre Lodi

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

2013 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Old Vine Soucie Vineyard

2013 Klinker Brick Petite Sirah Lodi

2014 St. Amant Winery Petite Sirah Mohr-Fry Ranch

2014 Jeremy Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

2015 Fields Family Wines Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard

2014 Macchia Primitivo Meticulous Vista Luna Vineyard

 

 

 

It’s time to revisit some new wines from Lodi!

These are mostly samples that were provided to me.  I have the samples clearly marked and supply the suggested retail price for the wines.  Some of the wines were from my cellar, I write about wines but I am also a collector and wine consumer.  I may write about some wines that are provided to me but I buy the wines I want to drink.

 

This is my third post on Lodi Wines.  If you missed my previous posts, they are available by clicking here or here.

 

For a great, all inclusive look at Lodi, visit the Lodi Wine site.

 

 

 

2014 Michael Klouda Wines Mourvedre Lodi – SRP $26

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

This small block of Mourvédre is farmed by Ron Silva in the Alta Mesa AVA of Lodi.  The vineyard only produces about 4 tons per acre.  Mourvédre tends to take its time to ripen, they waited around till the end of October for this one.  This was my the winery’s first time working with this fruit and it was not an easy go of it; however, with a lot of love and late night punch downs they was able to create a wine that they really enjoy.  The wine spent 16 months in 100% French oak barrels.

 

More information on the winery and their wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a saturated ruby color.  The appealing nose has black cherries, blackberries, baking spice, crushed stone minerals, dry underbrush, black pepper, dried leafy herbs and dried violets.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate dark fruit, baking spices, black pepper and minerals quickly grab hold with dried underbrush and a touch of dried herbs coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with a pleasant dried floral note adding depth.  This has great balance and the understated ripeness provides nice finesse allowing the nuances to shine through.  This is a unique interpretation of the Mourvedre grape and based on this wine, the grape may have a nice future in Lodi.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Michael Klouda Wines Mourvedre Lodi

2014 Michael Klouda Wines Mourvedre Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace – SRP $28

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

“A Merciful End to All Red Blend Competitors!”

Freelance Wines is a joint effort of two long time Lodi locals, Adam Mettler and Mike Stroh.  Coup de Grâce is the company’s first wine to be released.

 

This is a blend of 64% Zinfandel, 19% Petite Sirah, 11% Petit Verdot and 6% Cabernet Franc mainly from Lodi.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, licorice, black peppercorns, black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, dead wood embers and a hint of eucalyptus.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate berries, black cherries and black pepper take control on the front end with wood embers and licorice coming in later.  The finish has nice length with baking spices and dark chocolate providing added interest.  This is a ripe and rich wine front loaded with nice fruit and enough savory notes to keep it interesting.  This has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

2012 Freelance Wines Coup de Grace

 

 

 

2013 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Old Vine Soucie Vineyard – SRP $30

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

I visited M2 Wines in September and had a wonderful visit, and lunch.  If you make it to Lodi, M2 should be on your must-visit list.  The outgoing and friendly Layne Montgomery is the Winemaker/Founder of the winery and is one of the “characters” in the region.  During the trip to Lodi, another one of our stops was a visit with Kevin Soucie at his Soucie Vineyard.  You could easily see Kevin’s pride in his eyes as we listened to him and Layne talk about the meticulously maintained vineyard.  As they say, the wine is made in the vineyard, and in Lodi the vineyards all receive the attention they deserve.  This vineyard was planted in 1916 making this truly an “old vine” Zinfandel.  More information on M2 is available on their website.

 

This wine is a fairly deep ruby red color.  The stunning nose has brambly berries, black pepper, dusty minerals, dry loamy soil, baking spices, dark bittersweet chocolate, freshly ground espresso beans, violets and black cherries.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate berries, black pepper and dusty minerals jump out early with baking spices, espresso beans and black cherries coming in later.  The long and lingering finish adds dark chocolate and dry loam.  For a wine with 15.6% alcohol the wine has the stuffing to keep it totally buried and the nice acidity actually makes it light on its feet.  A very nice bottle of wine, highly recommended.  This has 15.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2013 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Old Vine Soucie Vineyard

2013 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Old Vine Soucie Vineyard

 

 

 

2013 Klinker Brick Petite Sirah Lodi – SRP $26

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

Steve and Lori Felton, the owners of Klinker Brick, are the 5th generation of the family to grow grapes in Lodi.  After years of growing and selling grapes, the couple started Klinker Brick in 2000, producing an Old Vine Zinfandel.  Much more information on the winery, people and their wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a deep dark purple color.  The flamboyant nose is full of blackberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, black peppercorns, vanilla, dead wood embers, dry earth and wild flowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate the berries, dark chocolate black pepper and wood embers quickly grab control grudgingly allowing vanilla and dry earth to slip in on the back end.  The lingering finish has a nice floral note entering the picture.  This is a big bruiser that demands a hearty piece of grilled meat.  I’d recommend drinking this on the younger side and enjoying the peppery berries and chocolate while they are young and vibrant.  What this wine lacks in subtlety it makes up for with in your face flavor.  This has 15% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2013 Klinker Brick Petite Sirah Lodi

2013 Klinker Brick Petite Sirah Lodi

 

 

 

2014 St. Amant Winery Petite Sirah Mohr-Fry Ranch – SRP $21

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

St. Amant Winery is a family owned winery located in Lodi, California that prides itself in producing handcrafted wines of superb quality. Founded in 1979 by Tim and Barbara Spencer, St. Amant crafts distinctive wines from Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian varietals in addition to California’s own Zinfandel.  When his father passed away in 2006, Stuart Spencer took over the winemaker duties.  Having personally met Stuart, he is a well spoken man that dons many hats, not just involving the winery but in many other arenas dealing with Lodi and wine.  The winery’s website contains a wealth of information and should be visited.

 

Only four barrels of this wine was produced from the vineyard that is planted in sandy soil in the heart of Lodi.

 

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The hypnotic nose has blackberries, blueberries, fresh ground espresso beans, dead wood embers, scorched earth, licorice and dusty minerals.  This has medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  Crushed berries, espresso beans and scorched earth coat the palate on the front end with minerals and charred wood coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with a touch of licorice providing some depth.  This could use a year in the cellar to allow some complexity to develop.  This is a very tasty, fruit forward Petite that provides a lot of drinking pleasure even at this early stage in it’s development.  This will be best in the first 5 years while the fruit is fresh and exuberant.  This has 14.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 St. Amant Winery Petite Sirah Mohr-Fry Ranch

2014 St. Amant Winery Petite Sirah Mohr-Fry Ranch

 

 

 

2014 Jeremy Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi – SRP $20

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

Jeremy Wine Company is owned by the husband and wife team of Jeremy & Choral Trettevik.  In their first harvest the couple barely had 5 tons of grapes, but that has grown to become over 70 tons.  More information on the small family owned winery is available on their website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The pleasurable nose has blackberries, black cherries, warm baking spices, black peppercorns, dusty loamy soil, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso beans, licorice and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, black cherries, baking spices and espresso beans jump out on the front end with dusty soil and licorice coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length a nice floral note providing some depth.  This is a graceful and nuanced Zinfandel that carries no overly ripe notes or excess weight.  This is very easy to enjoy.  Drink this one over the next few years to enjoy the youthful fruit.  This has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2014 Jeremy Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi

2014 Jeremy Wine Company Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi

 

 

 

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé – $16.20

We met Michael MaCay and his Syrah grower Phil Abba and had a “side of the road” tasting at Phil’s Abba Vineyard.  Just like every grower we met you could “feel” Phil’s dedication and pride in the grapes that come out of his vineyard.  I bought this wine as well as McCay Cellars’ Syrah and Grenache wines make from the fruit from Abba Vineyard.  This was fantastic on the side of the hot, dry and dusty road and I could not wait to open a bottle to sip at home.  This is a bottle that I bought and is not a sample.

 

McCay Cellars is owned by Michael McCay.  McCay moved to Lodi in the mid 1980s and started to grow grapes.  He started making wine in 1994 and launched McCay Cellars in 2007.  Much more information is available on the winery, history and most importantly their wines by visiting the McCay Cellars webpage.

 

This wine is mainly Carignane (from 102 year old vines) with Grenache.  The wine was produced with a “native fermentation” in stainless steel.  The wine is a bright salmon color.  The fresh smelling nose has strawberries, peaches, dusty minerals and lime zest.  This has a medium body with good acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate strawberries and minerals immediately grab your attention with peaches in the background.  The finish has nice length with a hint of lime zest leading you to grab another sip.  This has just a hint of sweetness making it an easy to enjoy companion to a warm day in the sun.  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (90 pts)

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

 

 

 

2015 Fields Family Wines Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard – SRP $24

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

Fields Family Wines is Russ Fields, the owner, and Ryan Sherman, the winemaker & Partner.  Along with their wives this is truly a “Family” winery.  Besides using some purchased grapes, like in this wine, the winery grows Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Grenache Blanc & Vermentino.  More information on the winery and their wines is available on their website.

 

Located on the west side of Lodi but still within the Mokelumne River AVA- the famed and historic Bechthold Vineyard planted own-rooted in 1886, it is believed to be the oldest Cinsault vineyard in the world.

 

The wine was produced with 100% whole-cluster, semi-carbonic, Native/Ambient fermentation & ML.  It was pressed into neutral French oak barrels late August 2015 and bottled early March 2016 to capture its vibrancy.

 

The wine is a light ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, raspberries, stony minerals, rose water, orange zest, white pepper and a hint of smoke.  This is barely medium body with good acidity and soft tannins.  On the palate this shows red fruit and minerals on the front end with orange zest and white pepper coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the red fruit and white pepper stealing the show.  The is a lighter body, nuanced wine that shows great balance and grace.  I’d open this one in the next couple of years to enjoy the vibrant red fruit.  This has 12.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2015 Fields Family Wines Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard

2015 Fields Family Wines Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Macchia Primitivo Meticulous Vista Luna Vineyard – SRP $28

This is based on a sample provided by Lodi Wine and the winery.

 

In Italian, Macchia, means “the spot”.  The owner/winemaker for Macchia is ever dapper, Tim Holdener.  We had a great visit to the winery which included tastes of several barrel samples.  Tim hosted a “Barbera tasting” that included several wineries in his outdoor tasting area which would be better called a “man cave”.  The area was outstanding.  During the event, when asked about the aging potential of Lodi Barbera wines, Tim grabbed a bottle of his 2003 Barbera from his personal stash.  Spoiler alert – it was outstanding.  I highly recommend a visit to the winery (and tasting area) if you ever make it to Lodi.  Much more information is available on the Macchia website.

 

This wine is a deep garnet color.  The big and bold nose is full of crushed blackberries, white pepper, baking spices, freshly ground espresso beans, dark chocolate, dry loamy soil, licorice and wildflowers.  This has a full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate this is like a slice of berry pie with white pepper on the front end with espresso beans and loam coming in later.  The finish has good length with a nice floral note providing some depth.  This is a big boned monster in a take no prisoner style, in other words an old school California zin.  This would be a perfect match to a piece of barbecue.  This has 16.3% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Macchia Primitivo Meticulous Vista Luna Vineyard

2014 Macchia Primitivo Meticulous Vista Luna Vineyard

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

These are all wines made with pride by families who either grow their own grapes or buy them from “friends”.  The over riding thing I learned during my visit is this region performs like one big team.  Everyone from the grape growers to the winery owners are equals when it comes to producing these world class wines.

 

 

If you want to plan a trip to Lodi, which I highly recommend, your first step should be to visit the Lodi Wine Site.  If you find yourself in Lodi and want to sip some wine, buy some wine or look for recommendations, I encourage you to visit them at:

Lodi Wine & Visitor Center

2545 West Turner Road

Lodi, CA 95242

Phone: (209) 367-4727

Email: lwwc@lodiwine.com

 

This is also a great place to buy Lodi wines.  They have an extensive inventory of wines that you can have shipped to your home.

 

 

 

Lodi Information

Lodi is just east of San Francisco and has provided grapes for producers all over the world since the 1800’s.  The Lodi area has provided grapes for producers all over the world for decades, and many families in Lodi have been growing grapes for six and seven generations.  Today, there are approximately 85 wineries and tasting rooms, over 750 growers and more than 100,000 acres planted to vineyards.  The wines we tasted commemorate the heritage of Lodi and are not only exquisite, but tell a narrative.

 

It is a well-known fact that Lodi is predominantly a red wine region, proudly holding the self-proclaimed title of “Zinfandel Capital of the World”.  What is lesser known is that Lodi’s unique Mediterranean climate allows for over 75 different varietals to thrive.

 

Tons of great and useful information is available on the Wines of Lodi, LOCA website.  I highly encourage you to read about the area by clicking here.  You can also follow Lodi on Twitter at @Lodi_Wine.

 

 

Lodi Green Program

The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first 3rd party-certified sustainable winegrowing program.  Originally launched in 2005, over the past two years the program went through and extensive review to update and make standards more rigorous.

 

The Lodi Rules takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.  This allows us to produce higher quality wines more reflective of the places and people that grow them.  It gives you the opportunity to promote responsible farming by enjoying the great wines from these vineyards.

 

When you drink a certified sustainably grown Lodi wine, you are supporting a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment.

 

Visit the Lodi Certified Green site for more information on the region’s sustainable winegrowing.

 

 

 

Calhoun & Company enjoys a diverse portfolio of wine and spirits clients. From family owned to corporate managed, luxury to everyday priced, small lot wines to nationally distributed, Napa to Oporto, we thrive on the varied media opportunities each of these categories presents. We are exceptionally proud of the breadth and depth of our practice, as illustrated by this partial list of brands we have worked with over the past 13 years.  For more information, visit their website.

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

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