Monday, May 6, 2019

Stonum Lodi Zinfandel

A family member recently alerted me that I needed to try some Zinfandel from Lodi's Stonum Vineyards.  She got a sample of it at an Orange County wine tasting event and loved it so much that she put me in touch with winery reps, who provided a taste.

A seven-acre plot of Tokay grapes was the start of Stonum Vineyards in the late 1970s.  Sibling vintners Mike and Kathy Stonum started making wines in 2006.  Those ancient vines of Mediterranean origin, by the way, were ripped up to make way for Zinfandel.  Lodi Wines says Tokay was once very heavily planted in the region and was primarily used as a table grape, not a source for world-class dessert wine.  Zinfandel is now the hook on which Lodi hangs its ranch hat.

After a stainless steel fermentation, the 2017 Stonum Lodi Zinfandel VI Estate was aged for two years in American oak barrels.  The wine reaches 15.4% abv and sells for $35.

This wine is medium-dark in color, with light getting through the glass.  The nose brings the predictable - white pepper, cherries - and the unexpected - bell pepper, anise.  On the palate, red currant and cherries meet over oak spice and black pepper.  The tannic structure is firm enough, but not so toothy that it gets in the way.  The medium finish is laden with fruit.

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