Monday, September 14, 2015

Lodi Native Single Vineyard Zin: Marian's Vineyard

This note wraps up the Now And Zin coverage of the virtual wine tasting event which featured the second vintage release of the Lodi Native project. The event is chronicled on the Twitter hashtag feeds at  #LodiLive and #LodiNative.

The Lodi Native project 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. I was proud and happy to be invited to sample these six great wines..

The Lodi Native Marian’s Vineyard Zinfandel comes to us from St. Amant Winery, with Stuart Spencer creating the wine from the fruit grown by Jerry and Bruce Fry, of Mohr-Fry Ranches.

The social media participants educated us: @Lodi_Wine chirped that "Marian's Vineyard is 8.3 acres of own-rooted vines planted in 1901." @ReverseWineSnob wrote that, "Marian's Vineyard Zin is very aromatic, with wonderful spice and a lovely refined palate." Who could argue? @IsaacJamesBaker tweeted, "Yeah, digging the silkiness of this Marian's Vineyard.," while @Courtneyc_Walsh thought that "Marian's Vineyard = Lodi's Grand Cru."

The medium-dark purple color gives it the look of a Pinot Noir - a dark Pinot Noir, but plenty of light gets through. The '13 version of the Marian's Vineyard Zinfandel has a beautiful nose of violets and cherries. There is a little clove, a little campfire, some cedar and a whiff of cigar. Those pleasantries add complexity, but it's still a fruit-powered nose. The palate is highly expressive, showing a dark flavor profile of wild berries, earth, cinnamon and sage. The mouthfeel is elegant and the tannic structure is smooth. This wine is not for drinking, it's for enjoying, experiencing, feeling.

Pair this one with your Thanksgiving turkey and go easy on the cranberry sauce. There's enough fruit here to sweeten that meat, light or dark. It will be a fine addition to holiday tables - it tastes like the holidays, to me - but if you can't wait, a pork chop or baked chicken will benefit from the richness of these flavors.


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