Sit Up Straight And Pay Attention

Review: 2007 Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi and 2008 Klinker Brick Farrah Syrah Lodi

Rating (Zin): Pow!  Rich, concentrated, and irresistible. Lick your lips and load up.  $18

Rating (Syrah): Sensational.  Heavy velvet, serious, savory Syrah.  A steal given its caliber. $18

The Rest of The Story:  The under-sung wines of Lodi, which sits about 40 miles south of Sacramento, have something to say. These say, 'Sit up straight and pay attention.'

Coming from Klinker Brick Winery, which bottles just two Zins and a Syrah, these could be two of the most moving wines for the money we've had all year....

Klinker Brick is a family-run organization enjoying significant growth in the midst of a sour economy - proof that producing a quality product at a reasonable price can find success in any market. The Zin, our first introduction to KB, was impressive.

One word sums this wine up: obvious.

It's got a beautiful deep, dense color and aromatics with hints of smoke and heat that make you practically tear-up. But the nuance is long gone once it hits your lips. Pow! Is this wine concentrate?  Very rich flavors and texture with deep, dark, juicy-fruit intensity that make your salivary glands do the happy foot dance.  Rated just under 16%, it packs a great buzz, too.

In the middle of our tasting notes in large caps is 'SON OF A BITCH, this wine rocks!'

Klinker Brick also produces limited quantities of Old Ghost Zin and Farrah's Syrah which retail for $37 and $20 respectively. We were so taken by the Zin that we ran out and found a bottle of the 08 Syrah.

Dense, deep color with a massive, luring nose.  Soft, heavy velvet texture is almost in contrast to its XXL size.  Like its Zin sibling, attention-commanding.  Savory, meaty, and surprisingly serious for a wine of this price and from this region.  Wow, wow, wow.  Sensational out of the gate, but positively intriguing after a few hours of air.  Reminiscent of Andrew Murray's wines.  Leaning more towards savory than fruit-driven, it's not for everyone, but a goddamn good wine.

Farrah Felten, sixth generation grower, KB's marketing maverick, and the Syrah's namesake tells us that the 2008's are more balanced and smooth than the 07's. We can't wait to find out.

A lot of winemakers have been criticized lately for catering to what some critics refer to as the current flash-in-the-pan American craze over high alcohol, super-extracted, cheap thrill wines. Well, if you're a sucker for cheap thrills, too, run down to your local retailer and demand your candy.

This could be out new fave vineyard du jour...