Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lodi Native Single Vineyard Zinfandel: Schmiedt Ranch

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.

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. 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)

I was invited to take part in the event and was provided samples of the wines for that purpose. Here are my impressions of the 2013 Lodi Native Schmiedt Ranch Zinfandel by Macchia Wines.

Macchia winemaker and owner Tim Holdener used the Zinfandel grapes of Schmiedt Ranch Vineyard, managed by Lodi great Markus Bokisch, to create perhaps the most enthralling of the six Lodi Native wines. 

The tasters on social media commented, after @Lodi_Wine got the ball rolling, noting that "Schmiedt Ranch was planted in 1918 by the late great Ross Schmiedt." @MsPullThatCork noted that "Schmiedt Ranch was 'becoming a high rent area,' according to Tim Holdener." He was quoted by @Lodi_Wine, too. "Tim Holdener," they tweeted, says 'Lodi Native wines are meant to provide you with a taste of the vineyard. I never met a #Zinfandel vineyard I didn't like.'" 

One of the six Lodi Native Zinfandels, the Schmiedt Ranch by Macchia is sold in the six-pack through Lodi Native, but is also offered singly on the Macchia website, for $35. The alcohol hits an extremely ripe 15.9%.

Oh, man, this wine is good. In the glass, it’s as dark as a power failure, with a highly perfumed nose showing bright cherry and blackberry fruit with a savory streak running right through the middle. Black olives, sage, and thyme aromas make this a very interesting sniff. The palate gets even more complex, as the olives and herbs show boldly and a delicious coffee/mocha note drifts into the finish. 

The wine’s tannins are subtle, but it pairs wonderfully with a hamburger (easy on the mustard) or pizza, a pork chop or roasted chicken.