Friday, June 26, 2015

Lodi Native Single-Vineyard Zinfandels On Social Media

A recent virtual wine tasting event featured LoCA, the Wines of Lodi and the second vintage release of the Lodi Native project. The event is chronicled on the Twitter hashtag feeds at  #LodiLive and #LodiNative.

In case you are not aware of what Lodi Native is, or what they are doing, please read on. Lodi Native is a collaboration of six winegrowers who aim to highlight Lodi's unique sense of place by focusing on single-vineyard Zinfandel selections from the region. Each wine benefits from native yeast fermentation, zero new oak, and a “hands-off” approach in the vineyards and cellar, allowing the terroir-driven fruit to speak for itself. It's an effort that any Zinfandel purist can appreciate.

The six labels involved in the Lodi Native project - McCay, Macchia, Fields Family, Maley Brothers, St. Amant and m2 Wines - are winegrowers as well as winemakers, as are the majority of Lodi’s producers.

Here are the wines tasted and tweeted about during the virtual event:

  • 2013 Lodi Native Stampede Vineyard Zinfandel (Fields Family Wines)
  • 2013 Lodi Native Schmiedt Ranch Zinfandel (Macchia Wines)
  • 2013 Lodi Native Wegat Vineyard Zinfandel (Maley Brothers)
  • 2013 Lodi Native Trulux Vineyard Zinfandel (McCay Cellars)
  • 2013 Lodi Native Marian’s Vineyard Zinfandel (St. Amant Winery)
  • 2013 Lodi Native Soucie Vineyard Zinfandel (m2 Wines)

Last year's inaugural releases were astounding. The bar was set high, and the Lodi Native growers and producers jumped at the chance to match - or exceed - the quality of the 2012 wines. These wines are all available at the respective wineries and at the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center only. Check here for more information on availability. I was invited to take part in the virtual tasting event and was provided samples of the wines for that purpose.

On social media, @CourtneyC_Walsh remembered "the 2012 #LodiNative wines. Can't wait to see if the 2013's live up to the high reputation!" Would you really expect less? @thisismyhappiness tweeted, "So excited to have the opportunity to taste 6 special Zinfandels of the Lodi Native project tonight!" @MsPullThatCork noted, "no tricks in the cellar in making these #Zinfandel wines, just the vineyards showing off!" @myvinespot thought, "these would all work with bbq - that may be one of the hallmarks of @Lodi_Wine." Quite true. @cliffordbrown3 summed it up nicely: "The Lodi Native project is without a doubt the most exciting project anywhere in the world."

I will cover each of the six Lodi Native 2013 wines separately here in the coming weeks.

The 2013 vintage of Lodi Native's Trulux Vineyard Zinfandel was vinified by McCay Cellars. Michael McCay has proven his ability with the Zinfandel grape many times over, and believes that Lodi is the best place in the world to grow the grape. Bearing the name of the Mokelumne River AVA, this bottling is made from Zinfandel grapes grown on old vines planted in the 1940s, which stand over six feet tall.

On Twitter, @WineUpdate commented on the "Big eucalyptus notes... The finish shimmers." @MsPullThatCork found "intoxicating" aromas on the TruLux, an observation with which I agree wholeheartedly.

Inky dark, the wine has explosive aromas of black and blue berries, smoke and dusty sage and cinnamon. Lively acidity and bright fruit on the palate are matched by that great Zinfandel spice. Excellent tannic structure finishes what is a completely enjoyable wine experience.

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