Stuck in Lodi Again – Looking for Great Zinfandel Bottles of Wine

The Center of the Universe

For Zinfandel Bottles of Wine

We always sing the praises of Lodi as the center of the Zinfandel wine universe. If you are looking for an interesting place to try new wines, make your way to this central valley farming town. It’s not the prettiest place, it’s not the coolest place, but even the 70s rock band Credence Clearwater Revival sang about this humble city, though not kindly.

After a trip near Lake Tahoe we found ourselves weaving mountain roads west to Sacramento and realizing Lodi and good Zinfandels were on our rhumb line home to Southern California. So we bolted south on Highway 99 through farm country to this Zinfandel heaven.

With only a day to visit we would have to be efficient. While wanting to taste some new wine, we also wanted to taste two of our favorites, M2 and Durst.

Our first sampling at M2 found our usual favorite bottles of wine, Clockstopper, Duality & their Old Vine Zinfandel. We then moved on to Maccchia immediately east on the Sierra Mountains side of Highway 99.

Macchia is heavy on the Zinfandels but also pours Sangiovese, Barbera, Primitivo and a white blend called Ludicrous. This was quite the find as the Zinfandels are wonderful, right alongside our appreciation of their Primitivo called Devious. The other good thing is you’ll find their wine retailed at Total Wine stores. Their one downfall is lack of spitting cups. We were told, “We don’t have spit cups for customers.” Well, if the wine maker needs spit cups, wouldn’t it be nice for customers to have them too! Finally a glass was produced for spitting.

What did we purchase?
M2 2013 Clockstopper $22 ✰+
Durst 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel $29 ✰+
Jeremy’s 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel $20 ✰/✰+
Macchia 2014 Zinfandel Generous, $26 ✰+
Michael David Incognito (GSM w/ Petite Sirah) $18 ✰+

At a lunch visiting Durst Winery we spotted owner Cassandra Durst who recommended we visit Jeremy Wine Company in downtown Lodi.  It seems the retail storefront trend continues, even in Lodi.

Downtown Lodi is full of 1880-1920 store fronts and Jeremy’s resides in one.  Jeremy’s claim to fame is Jeremiah’s Jug Wine. He creates the usual Zinfandel, Barbera and blends but also pours his blends via taps directly into your 1-liter Wine Growler. Refills are $20. We enjoyed his wine.

As the day waned approaching 4pm we knew we only had time for one more stop, one more taste as we worked our way towards Highway 5 and our hotel in Stockton. So we visited Michael David Winery enjoying their 6th Sense Syrah, Earthquake Zinfandel and Petite Petit.

If you enjoy Zinfandel, you owe it to yourself to visit Lodi for a good bottle of wine.

Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill-Hodge enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California wineries from Lake County to Orange County, from the Paso Robles Gold Coast to Gold Country and from Lodi to Temecula.

Some notes on our wine ranking system.

– -✰ means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰ means -Not liking it too much
✰ means -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰++ means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+ with a slash, it signifies our opinion differs.

$ Value Laden
$$ Well priced wine
$$$ Better be great!
$$$$ Expensive, better be wonderful!