Finally we make it to the wines that have put this region on the map: Zins.
Before we get to the wine, a couple more interesting facts about Lodi (aka LoCa):
- Lodi is perhaps best known for Old Vine Zinfandel. What, exactly, does Old Vine mean? Not necessarily anything, as it turns out. It is an unregulated marketing term, which means that the vines don't have to be any particular age. That said, Lodi is home to some very old vineyards indeed. Joe Roberts (aka 1WineDude) was out here earlier this year and wrote a cool piece after spending time with 126 year old "souls". Worth a quick read.
- Lodi also produces more Zin that any other region in California, which pretty much makes it the Zinfandel capital of the world. Almost 40% of California's Zin productions comes from here. And while AVAs like Dry Creek are nearly synonymous with Zinfandel, Lodi grows nearly twelve times as much Zin as Sonoma. Whoa!
2010 Fields Family Wines Zinfandel Lodi Sherman Family Vineyards $24
Sitting at the fleeter-feet end of the Zin spectrum, this wins points for its folksy friendliness. Nothing complicated or profound here, and lovers of supple wines will find a home in this gentler rendition of Zinfandel where smooth texture takes center stage.
2010 d'Art Wines Zinfandel Lodi $22
On the surface, this is just another pleasant drinking wine - nothing either offensive or compelling about it. However, after 4 days open (which is 3.5 days longer than a wine usually lasts around here) a spellbinding transformation happened. Air gave this wine the space it need to unfold what turned out to be a massive structure with formidable seriousness and impressive complexity. Hard to remember the last time a Zin provided this much enjoyment, though sorry it took four days for it to be revealed.