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A Bottle of Wine From Lodi – The Zinfandel Wine Treasure of California’s Central Valley

While we enjoy a bottle of wine from Lodi, a major zinfandel& syrah producing region (plus a lot of other wines labeled as ‘Californian’), we’ve not  posted anything about the region.

A friend of ours on the way to taste Lodi wine requested recommendations for tasting the area, and I gave her a list of our explorations. So, let’s share it here.

“If you like Earthquake or 7 Deadly Zins, visit Michael David Winery, it is on Hwy 12 right off I-5 as you head east into Lodi. While this area is not as scenic as Paso Robles (only Paso can be Paso), the wines compete with Paso Robles vintners.”

An example is Fields Family Wineries, in the Northwest quadrant of Lodi. Directly across the street is Cycles Gladiator (actually owned by Hahn Wine – Monterey.) If you drop in, ask them if they have a bottle of wine named Zin Bob’s Way, a Lodi appellation wine. This is a favorite we usually grab while going through Monterey’s Schied Winery where they also sell it.”

Then there is m2 Wines, but don’t be fooled by it’s location. It’s located in an industrial park Northeast of town near the waste processing plant. They’re very tasty and well worth visiting.”

As you head south from there, be sure to visit Klinker Brick. Their Zins are flavorful. You’ll visit an old farm looking facility. Be sure to taste the Ghost Horse label wines.”

Then on to Berghold. Be sure to take your camera as it’s a very large tasting facility, in fact it looks like French estate and is decorated inside in the exact same way. While we don’t always drink Syrahs, they have good ones we’ve enjoyed and purchased.”

Then of course as you head south on Highway 99, you need to visit Delicato in Manteca (just south of Lodi), home to Brazin, Hand Craft, etc. You’ll be surprised when you visit. They’re a very large wine maker, I call them the 300 pound gorilla to Gallo’s 800 pound gorilla.”

If you’re driving south on Highway 99 on the way home to the South Bay, I’m sure you’ll be visiting Ficklin on the way home for a bottle of wine! They’re a fine Port style wine maker harvesting from old vine surrounding the old farm tasting room.”

Make sure you share with us any discoveries you make.”

After Her Visit, She Told Me of Her Discoveries-

Loved Lodi and Love Zinfandels!  We only had a chance to visit 4 wineries and had a suitcase full of wine to bring back.  Enjoyed the wines below, tasted at Michael David Winery but nothing really hit us.We joined the wine club at M2, thanks for the recommendation.  We bought a 5 liter bottle of wine of McCay 2008 Equity Zinfandel, the label is all engraved see attached.  The Cycles Gladiator Bone Shaker label glows in the dark.”  -JD

Here are the wines she and her husband enjoyed, and purchased:

2010 ‘Select Block’ Zinfandel, Soucie Vineyard
In 2010 winegrower Kevin Soucie and winemaker Layne Montgomery conspired to re-interpret “old style” Lodi Zinfandel as they believe it was meant to be, dark and dense, bold and fruity.
A select block of Soucie Vineyard was chosen and grown to exacting standards. A minimalist approach to the crafting and aging of the wine was taken. Without a doubt, this bottle of wine reflects time and place – the soil, the sun, the wind and rain – of where it was grown, and the craftsmanship with which it was made.  This limited production wine (98 cases made) is Zinfandel without limits. – $69

Cycles Gladiator – Bone Shaker 2010 Ltd Production Zinfandel
Bright purple in the glass, this bottle of wine has an aroma that reaches out of the glass and grabs hold of you with notes of ripe red plums and blackberry jam.

The Boneshaker is take no holds barred, “we will rock you” style of Zinfandel. Bright purple in the glass, this wine has an aroma that reaches out of the glass and grabs hold of you with notes of ripe red plums and blackberry jam. A sip shows off dark flavors of bittersweet chocolate and caramelized black cherries underscored by a hint of sweet tobacco.

This Zinfandel is as full bodied as they come, with fine grained tannins on the mid palate and a long finish hemmed by subtle notes of allspice and lightly roasted coffee. This wine is great on its own, but it truly shines alongside all things pork. Give it a try with a slowly braised confit of pork shoulder or dry rubbed pork tenderloin

Huntington 2008 Merlot
Beautifully deep and dark, Huntington 2008 Merlot boasts aromas of berry, earth and a hint of tomato leaf. On the palate, it is complex and unique, with layered flavors of red currant, cocoa, pepper and a faint minerality. Smooth and supple, with balanced tannins and acidity, this wine is a palate-pleaser from sip to finish.
2008 Equity Zinfandel
A soft and elegant vintage of Zinfandel. A bottle of wine with hints of Raspberry, Black Cherry,Hazel Nut with hints of prune/date gives this Zinfandel a wonderful finish. Great time and effort was spent to produce a Zinfandel with simple complexity. The finish is ever lingering and deserves time just to sit in the back of your palate. A perfumed nose, with dry sandalwood, soft vanilla-edged cherry and huckleberry, bolstered by fine, tight-knit tannins with wonderful Oak treatments”

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