Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Betting On Lodi Tempranillo

As I have written before about Harney Lane Winery's Mettler family, "Like most Lodi farming families, the dirt is not just on their jeans, but in their genes."  Head grower  Kyle Lerner says that "farming is legalized gambling with more variables."  He rolled the dice and married into the Mettler family, though, and he considers that a good bet.  You'll find him in the vineyards, even though he would probably like more time in the tasting room.

The Harney Lane Lodi Tempranillo 2012 is aged for 19 months in European oak (French? Hungarian?) and gives a hefty alcohol feel at 14.5% abv.  It retails for $25, which is a pretty good price for wine this good. Only a little over 400 cases were made.

The wine is dark, inky, in fact.  On the nose, I get strong black plums and blackberries, with a hint of blueberries. There is an abundance of oak spice, so it’s loaded with vanilla-laced tobacco, allspice and licorice. The palate is full, too. Big in the mouth, with huge tannins and fruit for days, the flavors also tend toward the dark side of the fruit spectrum. Oak is present and becomes more pronounced late in the sip and into the finish.

You can meet the Harney Lane gang if you are planning on attending the 25th annual ZAP festival in San Francisco on Saturday, February 27th 2016. The event happens from 11am to 4pm.


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