Sunday, February 8, 2009


Wild, wonderful Lodi

Napa... we all know Napa. Sonoma... been there, done that. Santa Barbara had its own movie (Sideways) for corn sakes. Let me tell you where the good juice is, drumroll please... Lodi, California. Lodi has been doing all the work and getting none of the credit in California for years. Lodi leads the golden state in grape production. Neat huh? There happen to be 60 wineries in the Lodi region both small and large and more to come as the word gets out. I'll do my part. A short day-trip south of San Francisco, Lodi shares the same cool nights and hot days. Cabernet and Zinfandel thrive in Lodi with a quite distinctive style unique to the region, fruity and concentrated and always bright and lively with zingy acidity. The majority of the growers in Lodi are 4th to 5th generation on the same land. Positively Iberian. Artisan style wine making and growing are the norm and not the exception. Old school trellising and a noticable lack of chemists in the wineries make most Napa fans mildly uncomfortable. 'I say Dyson, where are all the white coats and clipboards?'

Try some different wines all from Lodi and compare the flavors and textures. Price points vary from $7 to $30 and you can try to pinpoint the terroir. Practice makes perfect... oh what fun.

2006 337 Cabernet Sauvignon Bright raspberry and chocolate notes with a smooth finish and no bite. If you haven't had this one yet 'give it a shot.'

2006 Windmill Old Vine Zinfandel Jammy and lively with a heavy mouthfeel and a strawberry frisson. Big and bold and inky dark yet surprisingly velvety and soft on the finish. There's alot going on here for a little.

2006 Petit Petite An honest to goodness fruit bomb with heavy currant and boysenberry notes. Red fruit and cedar notes complement the soft acidity in this fantastic pizza wine.A blend of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. Yummy.

2005 Mettler Family Cabernet Sauvignon A complex concentrated silky wine with a dark deep color and a fruit forward style reminiscent of a quality Zinfandel. Double Gold Medal winner by the San Francisco Chronicle this year. In my opinion one of the best under $25 cabs in the store.

There are a few more Lodi wines in the store that you might already have tasted without being aware of the Lodi connection:

7 Deadly Zins

Earthquake Zin

Campus Oaks Zin

6th Sense Syrah

All for now,


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