Fine wine can be likened to aesthetic arts or crafts, the qualities appreciated are sensory, a state of mind, rather than a measurable technology. For the most curious and adventurous wine enthusiasts of the world, the most exciting wines are typically those that are totally new and unexpected, surprising as opposed to predictable.
If there’s anything for which Lodi, Calif., grown wines are becoming increasingly known, it’s their originality and total, wonderful ability to surprise. In fact, if there’s a unique or exotic varietal that a vintner might be interested in bottling (or consumers in drinking), it probably grows in Lodi.
So what makes Lodi terroir the perfect canvas for such an array of varietals? The answer is variations of rich, well-drained soils coupled with the region’s moderate Mediterranean climate. It doesn’t hurt that Lodi growers have the farming culture and heritage that embraces such diversity.
Go ahead and introduce your customers to some of the most exciting and affordable wines coming out of California. Introduce them to the irreverent wines that are making Lodi California’s next great wine region.
2009 Alta Mesa Cellars, Lodi Verdelho ($14) — Dry with peach and lime perfumes, hints of pineapple sage, lemon verbena; lightly tart, silky smooth. Find at Lodi Wine & Visitor Center. lodiwine.com
2009 Uvaggio, Lodi Vermentino ($14) — Stone, citrus, and dried herbs; lavender, potpourri-like sensations on the palate with lemony crispness in a lithe body. uvaggio.com
2010 Riaza, Terra Alta Vineyard Clements Hills-Lodi Albariño ($19) — Dry with minerals and fruit; scents of wildflowers, honey, grapefruit, pineapple, green mango. riazawines.com
2010 Odisea Cochon, Clements Hills-Lodi Grenache Blanc ($25) — White peach, apricot, tropical flowers; honeyed melon and quince layered upon creamy sensations. cochonwine.com
2008 Bokisch, Terra Alta Vineyard Clements Hills-Lodi Garnacha ($18) — Sensual, strawberry liqueur fruit, finishing with whiffs of tobacco. bokischvineyards.com
2009 R (Jeff Runquist), Silvaspoons Lodi Souzão ($24) — Luscious, dry with black and Bing cherry; soft, bright with medium body. jeffrunquistwines.com
2007 Fenestra, Silvaspoons Vineyards Lodi Touriga ($28) — Dry with sensations of roasting beef, concentrated plum, and blackberry fruit in nose; thick, meaty palate. fenestrawinery.com
2006 Akin Estates, Christesen Vineyard Reserve Lodi Tannat ($18) — Dense, full bodied; plummy, black fruits with hints of leather, dusty loam, wood smoke. Find at Woodbridge Uncorked Wine Bar. woodbridgeuncorked.com
2009 Kidder Family, Lodi Syrah ($26) — Violet and Asian tea spice perfumes; meaty, yet vibrant with silky sensations that fill the mouth without weighing it down. kidderwines.com
2008 Grands Amis, Elk Vineyard Private Reserve Borden Ranch-Lodi Petit Verdot ($25) — Compote of raspberry and blackberry, aromas of allspice, oak; taut, dense, elegant feel. grandsamis.com
2009 Michael-David, Inkblot Lodi Cabernet Franc ($35) — Rich, smooth with floral/violet aromas and wild berry perfumes; suggestions of smoky, roasting coffee. michaeldavidwinery.com
2009 St. Jorge, Lodi Sobremesa ($23/half-bottle) — Sensually soft, discreetly sweet; essence of pear and apple nectars with twists of lemon peel. stjorgewinery.com
**These wine tasting notes came directly from Randy Caparoso, with the exception of Vinedos Aurora Lodi Albarino and Spenker Winery Zinfandel, which came from their respective winery websites.
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