After enjoying a class on Lodi wines at the annual SommCon® conference held each year in San Diego and learning more about their different American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), I blogged about the highlights. To continue learning about the range of wines and the proliferation of fine smaller wineries in the region, we signed up for the Lodi Wine Club, the red wines version (they offer a Mixed version, too).

Wine clubs with wineries are a good way to show loyalty to favorites and get regular deliveries of the latest and have access to special bottlings, discounts and tastings. The Lodi Wine Club sends three to four bottles of wine each quarter at a cost of $80 to $100. The Wine Club selections include a wide range of varietals that do well in the Lodi appellation and different AVAs. These include Petite Sirah, Graciano, Tempranillo, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemakers have fun with vlends and field blends (more than two varietals). Beyond the wine club, we searched for other Lodi wines to try, including those in the $15 range.

Lodi Circa 1900

The following are tasting notes from over the past year. Most wines are available directly from the wineries, sometimes with newer vintages. As noted, we found consistent quality, with wines ranging from 15 to 17 on the UC Davis scale, or 88 to 92 on other scales. The results, in order of price:

  • Great value, Michael-David Vineyards 2017 Petite Petit (Petite Sirah) $15. Dark purple; prune, ripe grape, pine nose; mid-body to big; round; thick; long chewy semi-hot (14.5 alc.) finish. w/stew, BBQ, pasta w/red sauce. 15.5-16 UC Davis scale, 89 other scales
  • Sorelle Winery 2014 Primitivo “Sorriso” Lodi, $20. Sharp mid-ruby; floral, pepper, spice, red fruit nose; mid-body; balanced; long smooth fruity (strawberries) finish. w/veal, chicken, lighter sauces. 16 UC Davis scale, 90 other scales
  • Red blend 2018 Macchia Graciano $23. Darkest purple; ripe grape (15.4 alc.), prune and redwood nose; mid-big body; grapey; thick; long semi-chewy finish. BBQ, pizza, pasta, rib wine. 15 UC Davis scale; 88 others.
  • d’Art Wines 2016 Merlot $25. Mid-garnet; red fruit, cherry, weedy, anise nose; mid-body; smokey, woody; a little thin; semi-tight, tart, chewy finish. w/burgers, pizza. 15 UC Davis scale; 88 other scales.
  • McCay Cellars 2016 Tempranillo Lot 13, $25. Dark garnet; cedar, fig, ripe grape, plum nose (14.5 alc.); mid-body; balanced; good fruit extract; decent tannins; long deep fruity finish. w/meat dishes. 15.5 UC Davis scale, 89 other scales.
  • Petite Sirah 2017 Rippey Family Vineyards $25. Dark purple; prune, ripe grape, manzanita (wood) nose; mid-big body; grapey, a little one-dimensional; long semi-thick hot finish. w/BBQ. 15.5 UC Davis scale, 89 other scales.
  • Lodi Mokelume River AVA 2016 Estate Crush Cinsault Bechthold Vineyard $26. Light-mid red/purple; berry, iodine, saline, pomegranate nose; mid-body; balanced; semi-tight, hot, berry and wood finish. w/picnic and BBQ fare. 16 UC Davis scale, 90 other scales.
  • Klinker Brick 2016 Petite Sirah $25. Dark garnet; ripe grape, prune, licorice nose (15.0 alc.); mid-big body; grapey; big extract; long, thick, chewy, woody finish. w/BBQ and bratwurst. 15.5 UC Davis scale, 89 other scales.
  • Field blend, 2016 Housley’s Century Oak Winery Red Table Wine, $26. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35 Zin, 25 Petite Sirah. Mid-garnet; berry, bramble, peppery Zin nose; mid-body; good fruit and flavor; long semi-tight, slightly hot (14.8 alc.) finish. Good steak, BBQ, rib wine. 16-16.5 UC Davis scale; 90-91 other scales.

    Jeremy Barbera

  • Jeremy Wine Company 2017 Barbera Noma Vineyard $28. Light-mid ruby; boysenberry, wood, floral nose; mid-body; balanced; interesting flavor and style; good character; long refined flavorful finish. w/veal. 16.5 UC Davis scale, 91 other scales
  • Rioja-like blend 2017 Bokisch Vineyards Tizona La Colada, $29. Wine club exclusive. 50-50 Tempranillo and Graciano. Mid-dark garnet; new world peppery, raspberry, bramble nose; mid-body; balanced; softening tannins; some style; opens with air; long semi-chewy fruity finish; slightly hot (14.5 alc.). w/pasta. 16 UC Davis scale, 90 other scales.
  • LangeTwins 2017 Petite Sirah One Hundred, Lodi Jahant, $32, Darkest purple (Port-like); prunes (15.0% alc.), mint, blackberry jam, licorice and wood nose; mid-body; round, ripe; decent tannins; not hard; long fruity finish. w/BBQ, grilled meats. 15.5 UC Davis, 89 other scales.
  • California blend 2016 Markus Wine Co. Lodi, CA Sol, $35. 70% Petite Sirah, 10 Syrah, 10 Petit Verdot, 10 Carignane; 14.6 alcohol. Mid-dark garnet; blackberry, saline, mineral nose; mid-body; balanced; good tannins and fruit; long berry and jam finish. w/BBQ. 16 UC Davis scale, 90 other scales.