Producer: Michael David Winery
Region: Lodi, California
Grape(s): Petite Sirah (85%), Petit Verdot (15%)
Tasting Notes: Blackberry, black cherry, plum, vanilla, clove, smokiness, spice
Pairings: Red meat over an open flame (steak, lamb, hamburgers)! Braised short ribs, smoked and cured meats, aged and strong cheeses
Price (approximately): $15
Winter is here, and you need a wine to match and keep warm during the cold months ahead. A big, bold red wine is just the thing, and this wine delivers. The wine was dense, full-bodied and fruit-forward, with black fruit aromas of flavors of blackberry, black cherry and plum leading the way. There was plenty more than just ripe fruit, however. The oak aging shines through with cedar, vanilla and spices (clove). The tannins were textured and firm, coupled with medium acidity. Pleasant hints of licorice, pepper and smoke linger in a long, dry finish. The wine was definitely fruit-forward, in the typical Michael David fashion, but there was plenty more on the palate to maintain intrigue. At around $15 a bottle, it won’t break the bank, either.
The wine is not terribly difficult to find, available locally at Costco and Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors.
Lodi is a little-known American Viticultural Area (AVA) with a lot of wine history, at least by American standards. Located between the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east, and the wetlands of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to the west, the region’s climate and terroir demonstrated to its early residents an efficacious agricultural haven. By the 1880s, European immigrants had settled in and planted Zinfandel and other varietals along the banks of the Mokelumne and Cosumnes rivers. Old-vine Zinfandel is well-established as Lodi’s traditional strength. However, grape varietals are plentiful in this region, and the regional winemakers are always in search for the most ideal varietals to match Lodi's terroir and climate.
The rivers running through Lodi are responsible for granitic alluvial soils that are washed down from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Cool maritime breezes from San Francisco Bay, most often cut off from inland appellations, reach Lodi and cool its vineyards through a gap in the Coast Ranges. These two characteristics set Lodi apart in the region as an AVA with significant potential.
If you find yourself Stuck in Lodi again, drop by Michael David Winery and drink the time away. You won’t be disappointed.