Last night, I joined other bloggers from across the country to participate in a #LodiLive tasting via Twitter and BrandLive. We tasted through the 6 Lodi Native wines, a new project from 6 different Lodi wineries, and had a Q&A with the winemakers. The project is a collaborative effort to highlight Old Vine Zinfandel in Lodi while focusing on minimalist winemaking practices. This means native yeast fermentation, the use of no new oak, no acidification, and no other additives in the winemaking process other than minimal SO2.
The tasting was pretty awesome. I tend to stray away from Zinfandel in general, especially the over-manipulated bottles with off the chart “big” personalities. But most of these wines were so different from what many wine consumers think of when they consider Zinfandel. A bit more balanced and elegant with the fruit really shining through (instead of oak or other added flavors).
It was also very interesting to hear the winemakers’ perspectives on the project. Many of them had never worked with native yeasts or other minimalist techniques and it was noted most will probably implement a more natural style of winemaking into their winery brand. Most of all, they seemed to have a real passion for showing off the level of Zinfandel that Lodi’s old vines are capable of producing.
Here are a couple of my favorite from the Lodi Native line up:
2012 Fields Family Century Block Vineyard Zinfandel
For me, this was the star of the show and the least stereotypical of Zinfandel. Notes of earth and red berries with smooth texture and hints of spice. Elegant and-balanced with healthy acidity. So delicious! (14% alcohol)
2012 St. Armant Marian’s Vineyard Zinfandel
Another tasty Lodi Zinfandel with an earthiness that comes through both in the nose and the palate. Lots of spice along with black cherry and a bit of an herbal undertone. Definitely worth uncorking! (14.5% alcohol).
For more info, visit: Lodi Native