Posts tagged ‘Brandlive’

Lodi Native Zinfandel Tasting

 

 

These reviews are based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard – (Maley Brothers)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard – (m2)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard – (McCay Cellars)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard – (St.Amant)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Century Block Vineyard – (Fields Family)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch – (Macchia)

 

(The wine name is the “official” Lodi Native name; I have listed the producing winery in parenthesis.

 

 

Lodi Native Logo

 

Overview

I was invited to participate in a wine tasting of 2012 Zinfandels from Lodi.  These were not going to be your ordinary, everyday Zins, these were going to be special.  Each 2012 bottling benefitted from native yeast fermentation, zero new oak, and minimal interference in the vineyards and cellar, allowing the terroir-driven fruit to speak for itself.  It’s a project that any Zinfandel (or wine!) purist can and should get behind.  It’s going to be a great tasting, giving prelude to Earth Day 2014!

 

Lodi Native™ is a collaborative project by six winegrowers of like mind, living and working in the historic Lodi American Viticultural Area.  Their mission: To turn the spotlight on the region’s heritage plantings – many of them dating back to the late 1800s – through sensible viticulture and minimalist winemaking practices, beginning with native yeast fermentation and use of no new oak.  The focus is on Zinfandel, but on the taste of vineyards rather than varietal character or brand.

 

 

 

The Lodi Native Mission

To demonstrate to more sophisticated consumers, media (print and blogosphere) and gatekeepers (such as specialty retailers and sommeliers/restaurateurs) that distinguished, distinctly identifiable vineyards exist in Lodi, similar to other great wine regions of the world.

To encourage preservation and appreciation of old vine plantings – well as of Lodi’s long tradition of grower/custodians – by focusing more attention on vineyard sites, vis-à-vis real and tangible sensory expressions in each bottling.

To build professional camaraderie, a culture of information sharing, and new challenges for Lodi’s Zinfandel specialists.

 

 

Commitments

That anything worth doing should entail fairly strict protocols in order to be meaningful.

That no protocol should run contrary to the project’s primary purpose, which is to highlight terroir, and Lodi’s heritage Zinfandel plantings and growers.

That each participating producer faithfully applies “best efforts,” while being willing to sacrifice personal or brand style in order to achieve the project’s mission.

 

 

Winemaking Protocols

100% Zinfandel bottlings from a single contiguous vineyard (exception:  old vine plantings with long established field mixes) located within the Lodi AVA.

Preference for established “old vine” plantings (i.e. pre-1962), with exceptions made for distinctive younger plantings.

Native yeast (non-inoculated) fermentations only.

No use of oak chips, dust or similar amendments.

No acidification or de-acidification.

No new oak or use of innerstaves in aging process.

No water addition or de-alcoholizing measures.

No tannin additions.

No inoculation for malolactic fermentation.

No use of Mega-Purple or other concentrate products.

No filtering or fining.

No must concentration, Flash Détente or similar extraction measures

Proposed cuvées are to be submitted by each producer for sensory evaluation and subsequent approval of entire group.

Preference for vineyards certified by Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing and/or CCOF.

 

 

For more information or to purchase the wines, visit the Lodi Native site by clicking here.

 

 

LoCA_Logo-Enclosure_CMYK

 

 

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.

 

 

CCA Logo

 

 

About Charles Communications Associates

CCA is an independent creative marketing firm that employs traditional public relations and new media strategies to assist companies, organizations and non-profits in the creation, development and marketing of interesting and compelling brands.  Recognized as one of the most effective PR firms in the wine industry, we have an exceptional track record of promoting products in the gourmet, natural and organic food and beverage categories, from wine and tea to top shelf spirits and luxury goods.  We consider ourselves fortunate to work with clients who share our philosophy of social responsibility in work and everyday life.

 

For more information, visit the CCA website.

 

 

 

Lodi-Native-winemakers-819x1024

Lodi Native Winemakers (Clockwise from left): Layne Montgomery (M2); Stuart Spencer (St. Amant); Ryan Sherman (Fields Family); Michael McCay (McCay Cellars); Tim Holdener (Macchia); Chad Joseph (Maley Brothers)

 

 

If you would like to see the recorded video of the tasting with the wineries, please visit the Brandlive site by clicking here.  I highly recommend checking out the video for the wealth of information and insight that was provided.

 

You can order the wines by clicking here.

The six-packs ($180 each) are only being sold at the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center and come packaged in a commemorative wooden box. You may also call the Visitor Center directly at (209) 365-0621.

 

 

 

Here was the line up for this tasting. Tasting order was from west to east based on the location of vineyard.

Lodi Native Lineup

Lodi Native Lineup

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard (Maley Brothers)

The Wegat Vineyard is a 21-acre planting of head trained vines, field budded on St. George rootstock by the Maley family in 1958.  It is a quintessential “west side” Lodi vineyard:  planted in fine sandy loam, yielding less than 3 tons/acre, from a  unique clonal selection characterized by consistently loose clusters – all contributing to the round, lush, boysenberry/blueberry qualities long associated with Wegat.

 

The wine has 14.9% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Maley Brothers, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The enticing nose has brambly berries, pepper, minerals, eucalyptus, roasted herbs, dried flowers and some earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the brambly berries jump out with minerals and eucalyptus coming in on the back end.  The finish has very good length with minerals and roasted herbs hanging on.  (91 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Wegat Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard (m2)

m2′s Lodi Native Zinfandel is sourced from the oldest block of Soucie Vineyard; planted in 1916 and farmed by fifth generation Lodi native Kevin Soucie.  The vines are own-rooted and head trained, and the soil – an extremely fine silt with the consistency of talcum powder – is a variation of the series found in Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA’s far western edge, identified as Devries sandy loam.  The site is also the closest to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s cooling breezes in Lodi, resulting in distinctively lush, pungently earthy, terroir driven styles of Zinfandel.

 

The wine has 14.5% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on m2 Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is bright red to ruby color.  The very inviting nose has brambly berries, pepper, minerals, eucalyptus and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate juicy crushed berries and pepper hit first with a touch of eucalyptus coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some earthiness coming in.  This is a nice middle of the road style of Zinfandel.  (89 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Soucie Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel TruLux Vineyard (McCay Cellars)

TruLux is a west side Lodi – Mokelumne River AVA vineyard, originally planted in the 1940s on St. George rootstock.  It is distinguished by unusually tall head trained vines (topping 6 feet) and a clonal selection producing atypically loose, elongated clusters.  This, and loamy sand, yields dark, meaty fruit qualities with a perceptible earthy, loamy complexity.

 

The 2012 was picked earlier in the season (September 17) at moderate sugar (24.4° Brix).

 

The wine has 14.6% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on McCay Cellars, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium ruby red color with an amber tint.  The inviting nose has brambly berries, white pepper, minerals, roasted herbs and dried flowers.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries and pepper jump out first with minerals and subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with some roasted herbs and a floral note coming in.  (90 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Trulux Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard (St.Amant)

Marian’s Vineyard is a revered 8.3-acre own-rooted Mokelumne River AVA growth, located south of the town of Lodi.  It was originally planted in 1901 by a branch of the Mettler family on present-day Mohr-Fry Ranch; and today it is farmed by father-and-son Jerry and Bruce Fry.  It is named for Marian Mohr Fry Zimmerman, the Fry family matriarch who passed away in 2007 at the age of 94.  Marian’s deep sandy loam is extremely well drained (in many years, yielding less than 2 tons/acre); but in 2012 the vineyard produced over 30 tons of bold, concentrated fruit – a testament to how well it is farmed today, in accordance with Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing.  The entirety of Marian’s goes to St. Amant Winery, founded by the late Tim Spencer (a Lodi icon).

 

The wine has 14.5% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on St.Amant Winery, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The appealing nose has brambly berries, black pepper, minerals, dried herbs and lavender.  This has medium to full body with solid tannins and good acidity.  On the palate mineral laden, peppery berries coat your palate with dried herbs and some earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a big dried herb note lingering seemingly forever.  (91 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian's Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Marian’s Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard (Fields Family)

The Century Block Vineyard is a 3-acre patch of own-rooted Zinfandel (typical of old vines in Lodi) planted in 1905; standing defiantly in a sea of more recently planted trellised vineyards, on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  The 2012 is the first vineyard designate on record for this growth, and shows what maximum attention in the field and minimal intervention in the cellar can do.

 

The wine has 14.0% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Fields Family Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright red to ruby color.  The sexy nose has cherries, brambly berries, white pepper, stony minerals, underbrush and violets.  This has medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity.  On the palate bright red fruit and pepper jump out first, slowly allowing minerals and some earthiness to come into focus.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note adding to the complexity.  This is a nice example of a restrained, civilized Zinfandel that could use some time in the cellar.  (92 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel The Century Block Vineyard

 

 

 

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Vineyard (Macchia)

Noma Ranch, farmed by second generation Lodi grower Leland Noma, is a 15-acre vineyard of small, stunted, own-rooted, head trained vines dating back to the early 1900s, located on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  It is 100% dry farmed; typically yielding close to 1 ton per acre.  These tiny clusters of high skin to juice ratio grapes produces a unique Zinfandel:  of all of Lodi’s heritage plantings, Noma is consistently among the most concentrated and highest in natural acidity.

 

Noma Ranch, farmed by Leland Noma is a 15-acre vineyard with vines dating back to the early 1900s, located on the east side of Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  The 2012 Lodi Native Noma Ranch Zinfandel was produced and bottled by Macchia Wines; by owner/winemaker Tim Holdener

 

This wine has 15.8% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

 

For more information on Macchia Wines, please click here.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a touch lighter than ruby red.  The big and bold nose has brambly berries, dark chocolate, black pepper, minerals, eucalyptus and violets.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate spicy, jammy berries and pepper coat the palate with subtle earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with the peppery, jammy fruit lingering nicely.  This is a big and bold style of Zin.  (89 pts)

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch

2012 Lodi Native Zinfandel Noma Ranch

 

 

 

Closing comments

These wines made for a very enjoyable evening (actually a few evenings).  The wines were not slathered in new oak and only one of the six had an alcohol level over 15%.  This was an eye opening project not only for us lucky enough to taste the wines, but also for the wineries.  Several of the wineries said they would be looking to incorporate some aspects of the Lodi Native project in their normal winery operations.

 

If you ever make it to the region, I highly recommend visiting these wineries and other small, family owned ones in the region.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN MARCH 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks – White wines for spring.

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014-5296/?viewall=1#ixzz2z411esZO

 

Snooth

WINES WE’VE LOVED!  Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-we-yve-loved/?viewall=1#ixzz2yOsinkhN

 

Snooth

OUR FAVORITE REDS FOR SPRING – The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend

http://www.snooth.com/articles/our-favorite-reds-for-spring/?viewall=1#ixzz2xkH0dfSj

 

Snooth

WHAT’S A GREAT GRENACHE? – Our Friendly Wine Experts Share Their Favorites!

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-ys-a-great-grenache-5209/

 

Snooth

SPRING TIME IS FOR PAIRING – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/spring-time-is-for-pairing/

 

Balzac

Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views

http://balzaccommunications.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/y/948F113D27729D90/DF475947E7F379DE2A1BF84ACBDD178B

 

Snooth

WHAT WE’VE BEEN DRINKING – News and Reviews from Around the Blogosphere

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-we-yve-been-drinking/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4idw7a

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN FEBRUARY 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4DCh5L

 

Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/california-wine-reviews-cline-cellars-and-jacuzzi-family-vineyard/

 

Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/sample-boutique-wines-at-affordable-prices-with-tastingroom-com/

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – SakeOne Brandlive Tasting

 

 

This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

Momokawa Diamond

Momokawa Pearl

SakéMoto Junmai

 

 

rice

I was invited to participate in an online saké tasting, which was very easy to accept.  I have enjoyed saké in the past, but my knowledge on the beverage is VERY limited.  I usually rely on the suggestions from the server and never remember which ones I have liked or the ones I could barely tolerate.  This will be a great opportunity to try three different examples and allow me to note differences and figure out what I like based on side by side comparisons.

 

Visit the SakéOne website.

 

 

SakeOne Logo

 

The selections were provided by Charles Communications for the SakéOne brand tasting and participation was limited to around a dozen people.

 

Generally, saké is best served is a white wine glass.  For some reason, several of us opted for a stemless wine glass like the Riedel O line.  I chose the glass since it seemed to be a nice middle of the road melding of the small traditional saké glass and a larger, stemmed wine glass.

 

Though saké can be served slightly warmed, it is better served chilled; I had mine at slightly cooler than room temperature.

 

It was pointed out that the American saké producers prefer to be called “craft” saké, or American, but don’t call them “domestic”.

 

An open bottle of saké will last for weeks in the refrigerator since it is pasteurized.

 

 

SakéOne is one of six saké breweries in America and the only saké brewery in Oregon.  It has promoted quality saké in America for over two decades, both as an importer and as a domestic craft brewer, focusing on quality, heritage and innovation.  SakéOne imports a boutique portfolio of Japanese regional saké including the brands Murai Family, Yoshinogawa and SakéMoto, a premium Japanese saké developed specifically for the American market. Greg also produces award-winning saké for the Momokawa, G Saké, and the fruit-infused Moonstone brands at SakéOne’s own Kura in Forest Grove, Oregon.

 

Saké’s presence in the American market is rapidly increasing; in the past ten years, saké has seen a 100% increase in the US Beverage alcohol market.  However, most premium saké is still imported from Japan.

 

 

The video from the online tasting, graphics dealing with saké terminology and the brewing process, as well as the participant’s posts can be found here:

http://sakeone.yourbrandlive.com/c/whitedaytasting/

 

The lineup for this tasting:

IMG_5906

 

 

 

Momokawa Diamond – SRP $13

This saké is classified as a Junmai Ginjo.  Among other things, this means the rice was “polished” down to 60%.

 

This is considered to be a “starting point” sake, meaning it not too dry but also not overly “fruity”.  The final alcohol is 14.8%.

 

My Tasting Note

This is totally clear and colorless.  On the nose this offers an herbal note, earthy mushrooms, peat moss, apples, cherries and white flowers.  On the palate this is slightly creamy with chalky minerality, spice, apples and cherry skin.  This has decent length on the finish.

Momokawa Diamond

Momokawa Diamond

 

 

Momokawa Pearl – SRP $13

This saké is classified as a Junmai Ginjo Nigori Genhu.  Among other things, this means the rice was “polished” down to 60%.  This sake is undiluted so it retains the base alcohol of 18%.  It is also not filtered so it contains rice “sediment”.  Before drinking, the bottle must be turned over multiple times to allow for this sediment to be redistributed in the liquid.

 

This was originally produced even though they were told it would never be popular because “no one drinks nigori.” More than fourteen years later it is their most popular saké and one that they must take to festivals and tastings everywhere they go.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a cloudy white color, like low fat milk.  The nose offers apples, tropical fruit, and earthy peat moss.  This is creamy and slightly sweet on the palate.  The finish is fairly long.  This one was very different in looks and the creaminess.

Momokawa Pearl

Momokawa Pearl

 

 

SakéMoto Junmai – SRP $11

This saké is classified as a Junmai.  Among other things, this means the rice was “polished” down to 70%.  This was the one imported sake included in the tasting.

 

This comes from a brewer that has been producing sake for over 270 years and was produced with the American palate in mind, which makes it a bit richer and fruitier.  This has a final alcohol of 14.7%.

 

My Tasting Note

This is a very light yellow to straw color.  The nose has melon, peat moss, earthy, apples, white flowers and tropical fruit.  On the palate this is crisp and clean with good acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  This has good length with an herbal note coming in.  This was my favorite of the tasting.

SakéMoto Junmai

SakéMoto Junmai

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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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