Gems in My Glass . . . February 2013

Gems in MY Glass . . ., Tasting Notes, Zinfandel

Rich jammy fruit, lovely balance and old vine character – Lodi terroir shines brightly!

McCay Cellars 2009 Jupiter Zinfandel:  McCay Cellars recently opened their new tasting room in Lodi, where winemaker Michael McCay, his wife Linda and the McCay Cellars team showcase their wines wine from multiple vineyards, the oldest being 102 years old.  Their ‘09 Jupiter Zin’s tantalizing aromas of berries, black cherries and hints of shaved chocolate arouse the senses.  Upon entry, olallieberry and raspberry flavors meld with cherry cola and mocha notes delighting the palate fully.  Elegant and balanced with a velvety texture, and the oak sits nicely in the background.

 D’art Wines 2010 Zinfandel:  Combining their passion for art and wine, Dave and Helen Dart opened up D’Art Winery about eight years ago.  From vineyards 85 to 125 years old comes this juicy and bright old vine Zin.  It opens with jammy blackberry and boysenberry aromas and flavors that remain focused, expanding and richly filling the mouth.  Deliciously ripe and artfully balanced with spice notes kicking in mid palate, and the finish boasts a nice touch of vanilla.

 Harney Lane Winery 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel, Lizzy James Vineyard:  Five generations of grape growing for the George Mettler family lead to this enticingly rich and full bodied Zin that opens with mouthwatering aromas and oozes jammy boysenberry and black raspberry flavors through the delectable palate.  A generous sprinkling of exotic spices and skillfully integrated oak add further dimension.  Complex, layered and well balanced with impressive depth and length. 

 Klinker Brick Winery 2010 Old Ghost Zinfandel:  Alluring wild cherry and spicy notes greet the nose and expand warmly on the palate.  Produced from a 100 year old vineyard, this seductive Zin coats the mouth with flavors of lip-smacking blackberry, cherry and huckleberry compote laced with a dusting of cocoa and vanilla bean accents.  Purity abounds from start to lingering finish. 

St. Amant Winery 2011 Marian’s Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel:  Crafted from vines planted in 1901, this big and densely concentrated Zin showcases sumptuous mocha-accented blackberry and black plum scents and flavors. Deep and beautifully structured with velvety tannins, this Zin displays deft handling of oak, striking balance and complexity from first sip to well-rounded finish.  Another stunning St. Amant wine from owner Barbara and her son, owner/winemaker Stuart Spencer. 

Victor Vineyards 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel:  Spicy aromas enliven the senses and lead to a yummy mouthful of fresh picked red raspberries and black cherries that entwine with a hint of cocoa and a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black peppercorns.   Crafted from old vines up to 112 years old, here is an elegant, lively Zinfandel that imparts decadent flavors while showcasing precise balance, a smooth texture, and freshness from first sip to scrumptious, lingering aftertaste. 

Lange Twins Family Winery & Vineyards 2010 Zinfandel: For decades the Lange family’s dedication to sustainable farming has been a tradition, and along with releasing thirst quenching, balanced wines, it continues to be a part of what they do so well. Their 2010 Zin exudes expressive fruity aromas that lead to a delicious mouthful of fresh blackberries, blueberries and savory spice.  The juicy fruit is wrapped around pretty tannins and offset by lively acidity, and the texture is silky smooth. 

m2 Wines Select Block Soucie Vineyard 2010 Zinfandel:  Sourcing grapes from Lodi for several years (this beauty comes from the Soucie Vineyard planted in 1916), m2’s wines showcase classic Lodi fruit beautifully.  With this complex, well-crafted 2010 Select Block Zin, tantalizing dark berry aromas rise from the glass and remain focused and rich on the palate. The intense jammy boysenberry and blackberry flavors at the core meld with sweet and savory cardamom and tea spices that hold through the long, satisfying finish. 

Mark your calendar for the annual Lodi ZinFest Wine Festival taking place the weekend of May 17-19, 2013 at Lodi Lake Park and discover just how much Lodi has to offer from these and other talented producers.   Visit for more details.  What a great opportunity for you to uncover your favorite Lodi wines!