Posts tagged ‘Ironstone Cabernet Franc’

Cliffs Wine Picks – Lodi Wines Vol 4

 

 

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2014 Mettler Family Vineyards Pinotage Lodi

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2015 Michael Klouda Wines Hatterle Zinfandel Lodi

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense Lodi

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera Lodi

2013 Borra Vineyards Old Vine Barbera

 

 

This post includes a mix of wines from my cellar that I purchased and samples that were provided to me.  I have the samples clearly stated as samples and show the suggested retail prices.  Some were from my cellar, some were purchased during my recent tour of Lodi and some were purchased after I returned.  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.  Here are some of the wines from Lodi that are now part of my cellar.

 

 

I had the extreme good fortune to be invited on a Press Trip to Lodi last September and it was a wonderful trip.  I had been a fan of Lodi Wines before the trip but now I am a fan of the people of Lodi.  The growers are outstanding people with a true dedication to tending to their vines and producing some of the best grapes in the world.  The winery owners and winemakers treat the grapes with the respect they deserve and produce some of the best wines in the world.  If you think Lodi means big, burly red wines, you owe it to yourself to revisit the area.  Besides the big red wines, the area produces outstanding, lighter bodied, nuanced red wines and some of the best white and rose wines in the world.

 

 

 

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo – SRP $23

This is based on a sample provided to me but this is a personal favorite.  I have a couple bottles in my cellar that I purchased before this sample arrived.

 

This wine includes a touch of Graciano.

 

Bokisch Vineyards is one of my favorite Lodi wineries.  The winery specializes in Spanish varietals.  If you ever find yourself in Lodi, I highly recommend a stop at Bokisch.  Besides their top notch red wines, they make some of the best white wines anywhere.  Much more information is available on the Bokisch website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The exotic nose has black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, blackberries, dry underbrush, roasted leafy herbs, wildflowers, white pepper and a touch of dark roast coffee beans.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  Tart black cherries, baking spices, underbrush and wildflowers immediately grab your attention on the palate with minerals, tart berries and roasted herbs coming in later.  The finish has very nice length with dark roasted coffee beans and white pepper providing nice depth.  This has great balance and is very easy to enjoy.  Who says Lodi only makes big, bold red wines?  This is full of subtle nuances with no rough edges.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

2013 Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo

 

 

 

2014 Mettler Family Vineyards Pinotage Lodi – SRP $25

Pinotage is an rare grape in California.  In the entire state there are only 58 acres of Pinotage vines and the Mettlers have 4 of these acres.

 

The Mettler family has been growing grapes for 8 generations and in Lodi for over 5 generations.  The grapes the family produced were sold to other well known wineries.  In 2001 the family started the winery and released their inaugural wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon.  Much more information on the family, the winery and their history is available on their website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby red color.  The inviting nose has crushed berries, underbrush, baking spices, dark roasted coffee beans, dried herbs, cherries and dry loam soil.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate crushed berries, underbrush, coffee beans and dried herbs take over on the front end with loamy soil and baking spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with berries and earthiness lingering nicely.  With out a doubt one of the best Pinotage wines I have ever tasted.  It seems like the grape could have a future in Lodi.  This is a nice wine, not a novelty.  This has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2014 Mettler Family Vineyards Pinotage Lodi

2014 Mettler Family Vineyards Pinotage Lodi

 

 

 

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard – $12.12

This bottle was purchased from Last Bottle wines, my favorite “flash” wine site.  If you use the provided link and sign up, you get an immediate credit and I get a credit if/when you make a purchase.  Check them out, they have awesome deals and their Marathons are always something special.

 

Markus Bokisch was raised in California but spent his childhood summers in Spain with his family.  In 1992 Liz & Markus Bokisch moved to Spain and worked in the Spanish wine industry.  Upon returning to California, they quickly purchased the Terra Alta Vineyards property.  Using the connections they formed while living and working in Spain, they began importing “budwood” and planted the Las Cerezas Vineyard.  They produced their first vintage under the Bokisch label on 2001.

 

The wine is a bright red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, crushed blackberries, baking spices, white pepper, crushed stone minerals, dried violets and dry underbrush.  This has medium body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity.  On the palate ripe cherries, berries and white pepper come through on the front end with dried flowers, baking spices and minerals coming in later.  The finish has good length with cherries and dry underbrush carrying the load.  This is in a prime drinking window and should hold for a few years.  This is another wine that shows the diversity and quality of wines being produced in Lodi.  This wine is a steal at the SRP of $20.  This wine has 14.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

2011 Bokisch Vineyards Garnacha Terra Alta Vineyard

 

 

 

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi – $21.99

This is another wine from Lodi I picked up at Total Wine in Columbia after returning from my trip to Lodi.  I loved my visit to Macchia and highly recommend trying any you may see on a shelf.  I’m thankful the local Total Wine carries several Macchia wines.

 

Besides the usual Lodi wine suspects, Macchia produces several wines from Italian varietals.  A stop at the “man cave” tasting area at Macchia should be on your short list of places to visit in Lodi.  Additional information about the winery is available on their website.

 

This wine is a fairly deep ruby color.  The sexy nose has cherries, warm baking spices, raspberries, dry earthy underbrush, violets, dusty minerals and a touch of licorice.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate this wine is full of rich fruit, spices and earthiness on the front end with minerals and a nice floral note on the back end.  The long, lingering finish closes with a hint of orange zest.  This is nothing like an Italian Sangiovese but the wine world would be a boring place if every wine made from a specific grape tasted the same no matter where it was grown.  This demands a hearty meal, think pasta with a meat sauce or a pizza with plenty of pepperoni and sausage.  This has 16.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

2014 Macchia Sangiovese Amorous Lodi

 

 

 

2015 Michael Klouda Wines Hatterle Zinfandel Lodi – SRP $26

This “own rooted” vineyard was planted in 1930, Mr Hatterle has been farming the vineyard for almost 50 years.

 

I’ve now had the opportunity to try a couple Michael Klouda wines and both have left me VERY impressed.  In my opinion, we will hear more about the winery in the coming years.  More information on Michael, the winery and the wines is available on their website.

 

The wine is a garnet color.  The sensuous nose has brambly berries, black peppercorns, baking spices, scorched earth, violets and licorice.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart berries, black pepper and baking spices take control on the front end with scorched earth coming in later.  The finish has very good length with a nice floral note providing some depth.  This is a stylish and refined Zinfandel, not a burly beast.  This food friendly and balanced wine would be a nice companion with your dinner.  I like this style of Zinfandel more than the ones that push the ripeness levels to the extreme.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (93 pts)

2015 Michael Klouda Wines Hatterle Zinfandel Lodi

2015 Michael Klouda Wines Hatterle Zinfandel Lodi

 

 

 

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc – $9.49

Ironstone Vineyards is a family owned winery that we visited during our Lodi excursion.  The Kautz family were gracious hosts during the visit.  I enjoyed their entire line-up of value priced wines.  The quality of the wines far exceeded the “low price of admission”.  To me, their Petite Sirah and this Cabernet Franc were the standouts.  I like the wine enough to include a few bottles in the case I bought soon after returning home.  Visit the Ironstone Vineyards website for a ton more information on the winery, family and the wines.

 

This wine is 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alta Mesa and Sloughhouse AVAs in Lodi.  The wine gets a brief two month aging in new French oak.

 

The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The very approachable nose has crushed berries, stony minerals, dried leafy herbs, vanilla, cedar and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, vanilla and dried herbs dominate the front end with toasty cedar coming in on the back end.  The fruit laden finish has nice length.  This isn’t a wine to lay down, I’d drink this one on the younger side while the fruit is crisp and fresh.  Open this one with a juicy burger hot off the grill or even better with a platter of cheeses and meats with a few friends.  This wine is a steal if you can find it for around $10.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an artificial cork.  (90 pts)

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

 

 

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense Lodi – $12.99

This wine is mostly Syrah with a touch of Petite Sirah.  The winery likes to add a bit of Petite Sirah to most of their wines.  I was jokingly told they would add it to their Chardonnay if they could.  This wine was aged 12 months in French oak barrels.

 

The winery is one of the “big boys” in Lodi.  The family has been growing fruit and vegetable in the region since the 1850s and have been growing grapes for nearly 100 years.  With an eye to the future the winery has adopted some of the most progressive sustainable farming practices in the state.  All of the 750 acres of family vineyards are third party certified as being sustainably farmed.  Since the 2011 vintage, 100% of the Lodi grown fruit crushed at the winery has been certified as sustainably farmed.

 

Much more information on the winery is available on their website.

 

From the winery:

The Phillips brothers planted one of the first Syrah vineyards in California in 1982. With Michael’s son Kevin continuing the Phillips grape growing tradition into the 6th generation, this Syrah vineyard was one of the first he tended to as our Vineyard Manager. If you turn the bottle around you will see Kevin’s eye looking out from the inside of the bottle, making sure the wine is being enjoyed!

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The intoxicating nose has blackberries, blueberries, asphalt, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso beans, dry underbrush, licorice, violets and black pepper.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  This has massive berries and ground espresso beans on the front end with underbrush, dark chocolate and a big floral note coming in on the back end.  The finish is long and lingering with black pepper coming into play.  Not a lot of subtlety here but the big fruit and nice structure makes for a worthy companion for something hot off the grill.  This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  This is a steal for the price.  (89 pts)

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense Lodi

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Syrah 6th Sense Lodi

 

 

 

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera Lodi – SRP $25

The Proprietor and Winemaker for Uvaggio is Jim Moore.  You may not have heard of Jim, but there is a good chance you have tasted some of his wines over the years.  While working for Robert Mondavi winery, Jim envisioned and developed La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi in California.  Jim was also instrumental in helping to launch the partnership between Robert Mondavi Winery and Frescobaldi family of Florence to launch the Luce and Lucent labels from Tuscany.

 

This wine is 98% Barbera from the Leventini Vineyard and 2% Primitivo from the Bella Vigna Vineyard.  The wine was fermented with a yeast strain isolated in Barolo.  After fermentation, the wine was aged for 9 months in 27% new French oak, 13% once or twice used French oak and the reminder in fairly neutral oak.

 

Much more information about the winery is available on their website.

 

The wine is a medium ruby red color.  The very inviting nose has cherries, black cherries, dry sandy loam, roasted herbs and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate tart cherries and dry earth take control on the front end with roasted herbs and a nice floral note coming in later.  The finish has very nice length and is loaded with fruit.  This doesn’t offer a lot in the complexity department but the front loaded fruit makes it easy to drink and enjoy.  No hurry on this one, it may even show some improvement with another couple years in the cellar.  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.  (88 pts)

2012 Uvaggio (L'Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera Lodi

2012 Uvaggio (L’Uvaggio di Giacomo) Barbera Lodi

 

 

 

2013 Borra Vineyards Old Vine Barbera – SRP $25

I was able to attend a tasting at the winery’s Gill Creek Ranch in late September and loved the “alternative” wines they served.  Their white wines were crisp, light and mineral driven.  I was able to sample this specific wine at a large Barbera tasting with several wineries participating.  This was one of the standouts (for me) at the event.  The winery has a “second label” called Markus, these wines must be tasted, they are truly outstanding.

 

This is 100% Barbera from over 40 year old vines from the vineyard planted around their tasting room in Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA.  The winemaker, Markus Niggli (Swiss born) uses native fermentation of only free-run juice.  After fermentation, the wine is aged for 22 months in 35% new French oak.  Total production was a miniscule 120 cases.

 

If you ever make it to Lodi, a stop at Borra Vineyards is a must.  If you’re lucky enough to meet Markus, you’ll be impressed with his forward vision and old-school approach to wine making.  Much more information about the winery, people and wine is available on their website.

 

The wine is a nice garnet color.  The seductive nose has black cherries, crushed stone minerals, baking spices, cola, scorched earth and dried wild flowers.  This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate black cherries, minerals and spice quickly jump out with cola and dry earth coming in on the back end.  The lingering finish adds a nice dried floral note.  This won’t be mistaken for an Italian Barbera, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I liked this wine…a lot.  This has 15.2% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist-off cap.  (92 pts)

2013 Borra Vineyards Old Vine Barbera

2013 Borra Vineyards Old Vine Barbera

 

 

 

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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Cheers!

 

 

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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!

 

Cliffs Wine Picks – Wines of Lodi

 

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2014 McCay Cellars Viognier

2015 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc

2015 LangeTwins Sangiovese Rosé

2013 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

2013 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

2012 Harney Lane Zinfandel Old Vine Lizzy James Vineyard

 

 

These are all wines I purchased, none are samples that were provided to me.  Some were from my cellar, some were purchased during my recent tour of Lodi and some were purchased after I returned home.  I may 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.  Here are some of the wines from Lodi that are now part of my cellar.  The prices noted are what I paid without tax or shipping.  Most of the wines were discounted due to case or multi-case purchases, or store related percentage off coupons from Total Wine.

 

Some of the bloggers have already posted blogs on our visit to the area.  I’m sure there will be more posted in the coming weeks, a few will be from me.  For this post, I wanted to highlight a few of the world class wines bearing the Lodi name on the label.

 

 

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot – $33.24

This is a wine I tasted during a visit to the winery as part of a group of bloggers with Snooth and the Lodi Wine organization.  I liked it enough to include a few bottles in a case of Lodi wines purchased when I returned back home.  For more information, visit the Michael-David Winery website.

 

This wine has a “touch” of Petite Sirah included with the Petit Verdot.  The grapes for this wine came from Jon Wetmore’s vineyard on the northeast side of Lodi.  This wine is always put into new barrels early in the harvest season due to the high level of tannin, color and concentration.  The wine was aged 19 months in French oak.  This is the first varietal bottling of Petit Verdot by the winery, there are very few other Lodi wineries producing Petit Verdot labeled wines.

 

The wine is a deep, dark maroon color.  The impressive nose has crushed berries, baking spices, licorice, black cherries, dusty minerals, dark chocolate, scorched earth and a touch of cedar.  This full bodied wine has moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate loads of crushed berries, baking spices and dusty minerals grab control on the front end with licorice, black cherries and scorched earth coming in later.  The long finish is full of berries, spice and a touch of cedar.  This is an impressive Petit Verdot.  The wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

2013 Michael-David Vineyards Petit Verdot Inkblot

 

 

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann – $28.00

I have been on the Bedrock mailing list since the inception several years ago.  Bedrock is owned by Morgan Twain-Peterson, son of former Ravenswood owner and Zinfandel visionary, Joel Peterson.

 

This is from a vineyard now owned by Tegan Passalacqua (Turley winemaker) and his wife Olivia.  This is an “own rooted” Zinfandel vineyard that was planted in 1915.  The “own rooted” vines had survived because the soil is very sandy which is a natural deterant to pests and diseases they plague vines in other soil conditions.  The wine is a deep ruby color.  The very inviting nose has brambly berries, cherries, warm baking spices, dusty minerals, black peppercorns, dried leafy herbs, licorice and violets.  This has a medium to full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  This is rich and voluptuous on the palate with juicy fruit, minerals, black pepper and dusty minerals on the front end with dried herbs and dry earth coming in later.  The spicy finish has nice length.  This is a very easy Zinfandel to sip and enjoy.  The wine has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (94 pts)

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Kirschenmann

 

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.

 

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.  (90 pts)  This has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

2015 McCay Cellars Rosé

 

 

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc – $9.49

Ironstone Vineyards is a family owned winery that we visited during our Lodi excursion.  The Kautz family were gracious hosts during the visit.  I enjoyed their entire line-up of value priced wines.  The quality of the wines far exceeded the “low price of admission”.  To me, their Petite Sirah and this Cabernet Franc were the standouts.  I like the wine enough to include a few bottles in the case I bought soon after returning home.  Visit the Ironstone Vineyards website for a ton more information on the winery, family and the wines.

 

This wine is 85% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alta Mesa and Sloughhouse AVAs in Lodi.  The wine gets a brief 2 month aging in new French oak.  The wine is a medium to dark ruby color.  The very approachable nose has crushed berries, stony minerals, dried leafy herbs, vanilla, cedar and wild flowers.  This has medium body with soft tannins and good acidity.  On the palate juicy berries, vanilla and dried herbs dominate the front end with toasty cedar coming in on the back end.  The fruit laden finish has nice length.  This isn’t a wine to lay down, I’d drink this one on the younger side while the fruit is crisp and fresh.  Open this one with a juicy burger hot off the grill or even better with a platter of cheeses and meats with a few friends.  This wine is a steal if you can find it for around $10.  (90 pts)  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an artificial cork.

 

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

2014 Ironstone Vineyards Cabernet Franc

 

 

2014 McCay Cellars Viognier

Information and links dealing with McCay Cellars is above with my review of their rosé.

 

The wine is a golden straw color.  The inviting nose has apples, peach pits, honey, orange blossoms, dusty minerals, lime zest and lemongrass.  This has medium body with nice acidity and just a hint of lingering sweetness.  Apples, lime zest and peach pits immediately coat your palate with richness, on the back end minerals and lemongrass enter the picture.  The finish has nice length with honey and orange blossoms adding depth.  This is an easy drinking wine that would be a hit with friends.  (90 pts)  This wine has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

2014 McCay Cellars Viognier

2014 McCay Cellars Viognier

 

 

2015 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc – $19.20

I was already familiar with Acquiesce wines before the Lodi trip from earlier tastings.  Acquiesce Winery was not visited on this trip but one of their wines, the 2015 Belle Blanc, was included in an online Snooth Tasting and chat while we were there.  If you want to see the session, it is available online.  I bought this wine as well as their Roussanne while in Lodi and had them shipped back home to me.

 

The wine is a very light golden yellow color.  The fresh and lively nose has green apples, white peach, flinty minerals, pineapple, lemon zest and a hint of spice.  This has medium body with great acidity and it seems to be totally dry.  On the palate tart apples and flinty minerals take control quickly with white peaches, pineapples and spice coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with mouthwatering lemon zest leaving you reaching for another sip.  Another great example of the white wines made from Rhone grapes that excel in Lodi.  (92 pts)  This has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.

2015 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc

2015 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc

 

 

 

2015 LangeTwins Sangiovese Rosé – $12.00

LangeTwins is another winery we did not visit.  The winery was still well represented, this wine was included in our “Welcome” dinner the day we arrive in Lodi.  I tried a small taste of the wine, took a sip and wanted more.  Needless to say, with a large table full of people, the bottle was empty.  I bought a few bottles of the wine while in Lodi and had them shipped to me back in South Carolina.  More information on LangeTwins Winery is available on their website.

 

This wine is a bright salmon color, a bit darker than a typical rosé.  The refreshing nose has strawberry, cherry, dry earth, stony minerals, orange blossoms and a touch of lime zest.  This has light to medium body with nice acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate nice fruit and minerals hit first with orange blossoms and a touch of dry earth coming in later.  The finish has nice length with mouthwatering lemon zest providing nice balance to the slight sweetness.  This is not sweet but there is just enough residual sweetness to add some body and keep the fruit at the front.  This is VERY easy to sip while relaxing.  This has 12.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off cap.  (90 pts)

2015 LangeTwins Sangiovese Rosé

2015 LangeTwins Sangiovese Rosé

 

 

2013 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine – $16.99

This is a bottle from my cellar.  I am fortunate enough to have a local Total Wines and More that carries several Lodi wines.  This wine and the St. Amant covered later in this post are almost always in my cellar.

 

In Italian, Macchia, means “the spot”.  The owner/winemaker for Macchia is ever dapper, Tim Holdener.  I’ll post a picture of Tim in his “tuxedo” shirt in a later post.  We had a great visit to the winery which included tastes of several barrel samples.  Time 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.  Again, pictures and tasting notes will be included in a later post.  During the event, when asked about the aging potential of Lodi Barbera wines, Time grabbed a bottle of his 2003 Barbera from his personal stash.  Spoiler alert – it was outstanding.  Much more information is available on the Macchia website.

 

The wine is a deep garnet to maroon color.  The open and inviting nose has brambly berries, warm baking spices, vanilla bean, black cherries, chalky minerals, black peppercorns and dried violets.  This has a fairly full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, spices, black pepper and cherries jump out quickly with vanilla and minerals coming in later.  The finish has good length with a dried floral note providing nice depth.  This is on the young side but already drinking very nicely with some air.  Load up if you can find this one.  The wine has 15.8% alcohol that is well concealed and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (91 pts)

2013 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

2013 Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Old Vine

 

 

2013 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard – $16.99

This is a wine I always have in my cellar from the local Total Wine.

 

During the trip, we had a marvelous tasting of St. Amant wines in Marian’s Vineyard which is part of the Mohr-Fry Ranch with grower Jerry Fry and Stuart Spencer, the winemaker for St. Amant.  The vineyard is well over 100 years old and produces wonderfully rich and concentrated fruit.  I highly recommend visiting St. Amant’s website and reading about the people and wine, but especially about the vineyards that are used by the winery.

 

The wine is a deep purple color.  The enticing nose has brambly berries, charred wood, crushed stone minerals, cracked black peppercorns, baking spices, black cherries, tobacco, earthy underbrush and dried wildflowers.  This has a full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate brambly berries, baking spices, crushed stones and black pepper jump out quickly with black cherries and subtle charred wood coming in on the back end.  The finish has very nice length with a pleasing dried floral note entering the picture.  This could use a bit of time in the cellar but with a bit of air it is already stunning.  Stock up on this one.  (93 pts)  This wine has 14.7% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.

2013 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

2013 St. Amant Winery Zinfandel Old Vines Mohr-Fry Ranch Vineyard

 

 

2012 Harney Lane Zinfandel Old Vine Lizzy James Vineyard

This is another bottle from my personal cellar.

 

We visited Harney Lane Winery during our trip.  The Mettler family has been farming the vineyards for over 100 years.  After many decades selling the grapes, in 2006 the family decided to start making wine.  The grapes for this wine come from the Lizzy James Vineyard that was planted in 1904, making this truly an “old vine” Zinfandel.

 

Our visit to Harney Lane provided us a nice tasting of their wines including barrel samples.  We had to “work” for the samples by doing “punch downs” of their fermenting Petite Sirah.  Thankfully there was no mishaps for those wearing light colored clothes.  Pictures of a few of us doing the punch-downs will be provided in a later post.  Much more information on the winery’s history, family and wines is available on the Harney Lane website.

 

The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color.  The inviting nose has blackberry compote, black peppercorns, crushed stone minerals, warm baking spices, scorched earth, ripe plums and vanilla bean.  This has a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity.  On the palate jammy berries, black peppercorns, baking spices and crushed stones jump out first with plums and scorched earth coming in on the back end.  The finish has nice length with dark roast coffee entering the picture.  This wine has 15.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  (92 pts)

2012 Harney Lane Zinfandel Old Vine Lizzy James Vineyard

2012 Harney Lane Zinfandel Old Vine Lizzy James Vineyard

 

 

Conclusion and recommendations

 

Some other wineries that merit your consideration are Bokisch Vineyards, m2 Wines, Borra Vineyards, Markus Wines a sub venture of Borra Vineyards, Oak Farm Vineyards and Mettler Family Vineyards.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

I was included as part of this blogger trip by Snooth, one of the top wine related sites on the internet.  I highly recommend visiting their site.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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Whether one is just a beginner, or a total pro, Snooth offers its 1 million+ users countless opportunities to learn, taste, share and shop in the world of wine.

 

Members are able to interact with wineries, stores, fellow wine lovers, and wine professionals from all over the globe with Snooth’s daily newsletters, wine search, social forums and interactive media tools.

 

Since its launch in June 2007, Snooth has become one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive online wine destinations, featuring millions of price listings and wine reviews. Snooth also powers wine & food pairings for major sites including Epicurious.com (Conde Nast) and myRecipes.com (Time Inc).

 

Visit Snooth by by clicking here.

 

 

 

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.

 

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Cheers!

 

 

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All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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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:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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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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