Lodi, American Viticulture Area (AVA) – The Lodi AVA is located in the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Central Valley California, east of the San Francisco Bay. Lodi has warm days and cool nights, similar to the Mediterranean climate. The lower temperatures that occur in Lodi result in fruit with good acidity. A wide range of soils are found in the Lodi AVA, but they generally are deep, loamy, sandy, rocky soils similar to that found in southern Rhone valley.
The Lodi appellation totals almost one half million acres, and the approximately eight hundred growers farm roughly 90,000 acres. Lodi produces more Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel than any other wine region in California, but it is probably best known for its old vine Zinfandel. The vines are often head trained giving them a classic old world appearance.
Zinfandel – The Zinfandel grape is a hearty variety that produces grapes with high sugar levels, often resulting in wines with a high alcohol content. Thought to be a relative of Primitivo that is found in southeast of Italy (the boot heel), Zinfandel can be made into a wide range of wine styles, including White Zinfandel, light or full bodied red wines, and even late harvest desert style wine. However Zinfandel, especially Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi, is usually made into a full bodied, spicy red wine with characteristics of red fruit, raspberry, and cherry.
Produced in the heart of Lodi AVA.
Rubus Zinfandel Lodi is made from 98% Zinfandel + 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Bottled after aging in French and American oak for 9 months.
Rubus Zinfandel Lodi presents with ruby red in color, with red fruit, raspberry, and spice on the nose. This wine is medium in body, with notes of ripe cherry, cedar box, cinnamon, anise, black pepper, and hint of smoke on the palate. It has a long, silky finish.
Selected by Fran Kysela MS.
This fresh and vibrant Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is brimming with aromas of blackberry, mulberry, cassis, and violet. On the palate, bright flavors of cranberry, red plum, cherry, and lavender are intertwined with supple tannins, balanced acidity, and a long, smooth finish.
Montebuena Blanco is made from 80% Viura and 20% Tempranillo Blanco.
What truly sets Montebuena apart is its unique position where the Ebro river is closest to the Sierra Cantabria mountains, creating a blend of Mediterranean and Continental climates that prevents an excess of rain and extreme cold. In addition, the shallow, calcareous soil limits the yield of the harvest and the size of the grapes while increasing the volume of the skins, resulting in deeper color and a greater concentration of flavor.
Montebuena Blanco is straw yellow colored, translucent with greyish hues at the edges. Dominant white fruit aromas of apple and ripe banana on the nose with citrus notes in the background. Fresh and intense on the palate, although the acidity gradually smoothes out as the wine passes through the mouth and gives way to sweetness combined with a slightly bitter note and silky feel that balances the first sensation.
Fresh salads and vegetables, grilled fish, young cheeses, seafood and shellfish.
Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Jouissance is sourced from the single vineyard established and farmed by Mark Lingenfelder at his home estate. Mark’s decades of experience as a vineyard manager and consulting viticulturalist have provided him the depth of experience to reach the pinnacle at his own property. Having worked with storied wineries over the years, we are grateful our paths have crossed enabling us to work with him for our Russian River designate. He tends the vines himself while relying on neighbor Lee Martinelli to provide additional help at the peak times. We work with a mix of Pommard and Dijon 667 vines from his oldest and youngest blocks – aged wisdom combines with youthful vigor!
The 2021 growing season was a welcome success after a more varied and challenging 2020. The vines came on with aplomb, demonstrating the rich fruit concentration we expect – even if the crop was meager. The ongoing drought in California served to further accentuate the character and concentration of the fruit. While warmer conditions have prevailed in other areas, the coastal areas of California continue to benefit from the maritime influence and moderating influence that it brings.
We fermented in our one ton, open-top tanks after filling by gravity. A warm fermentation with a combination of native and isolated Burgundian yeasts produced excellent and focused flavor extraction, complemented with traditional punch-downs by hand. The wine was aged entirely in Francois Freres cooperage, 40% new, and racked once, gently, prior to bottling. Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling. 151 cases produced.
Bright fruit notes dominate the aromas with bright cherry, plum, and boysenberry underlaid by allspice and clove. On the palate the wine is liquid velvet, it’s silkiness segueing into a burst of fruit and spice that rides high on the palate while gradually opening to deeper berry, tea, and baking spices. It is a refreshing and lively Pinot Noir in its youth that will continue to fill out in depth and complexity over the next 2-5 years.
Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
To unpack this Pinot Noir is to dig through layer upon intriguing layer of the storied Dundee Hills appellation. 2021 finished with a bang and is already considered the vintage of the century for many Willamette Valley wineries, and for good reason. But it didn’t necessarily start that way. Heat spikes and limited water were themes early on, to the tune of 116° F in some parts of the valley.
The 2021 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir touts all the hallmarks of Archery Summit's storied appellation. It begins with brambleberry, ripe rainier cherry, blackberry blossoms, cocoa powder, and spice on the nose. The palate is just as lively, with fresh, juicy red fruit backed by graceful tannins and acid. Finishing with spiced oak and a mouth-coating minerality, this wine is a case study in the magic of the Dundee Hills.
Yet, thanks to water reserves in the soil itself and some timely viticultural movements, the vineyards persevered through the heat and water limitations. The dryer season accelerated picking times, making the fruit ripen a bit earlier than normal. September rewarded us with cool nights and the lower-than average yields set us up to make wines with abundant character, intensity and balance. The winery is so grateful for the moisture-abundant, microbially-rich and chemical-free soils that lovingly nudged the vines towards the finish line.
No one is naïve about the difficulties and challenges of growing Pinot Noir away from its home in Burgundy (even there, of course, it isn’t easy). Pinot has taken to Oregon’s Willamette Valley with remarkable success, though, and especially to the red-soiled Dundee Hills. This 2021 wine is a fine example of the charm, balance and satisfaction that fine Dundee Hills Pinot can provide. Translucent scarlet in colour, with magnetically attractive raspberry scents, once on the palate the wine is soft-contoured yet energetic, with arresting intensity of fruit. Here the raspberry shades into something more curranty and tenacious, and there are refreshing bitter notes in the finish, too, with a hint of earthiness perhaps derived from the clays of volcanic origin in which the vines grow. The warm edge of cool climate? Perhaps – and it makes for beautiful drinking.
-Decanter 97 Points
Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.
Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.
Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.
Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.
The 2021 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue is pale to medium ruby-purple in color. It swans out of the glass with showy notes of kirsch, juicy raspberries, and fresh cranberries with hints of lavender, iris, iron ore, and mossy tree bark. The full-bodied palate is jam packed with bright, energetic black and red berry flavors, giving off a firework display of mineral and floral accents, supported by seamless freshness and a firm, fine-grained texture, finishing long, long, long. This is simply stunning.
-Wine Independent 97 Points
Turley Pesenti Zinfandel is made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
Deeply perfumed and enthralling nose of ripe red fruits, high-toned spices, orange zest, and an almost minty crushed chalk. Palate is smooth, lush, energetic, and pure, with a smack of well-toned acidity, satiating structure, and a long, precise finish.
Turley Wine Cellars was founded in Napa Valley by former emergency room physician Larry Turley in 1993. Under the direction of winemaker Tegan Passalacqua, Turley now makes 50 different wines from over 50 vineyards across California, primarily Zinfandel and Petite Syrah, with many vines dating back to the late 1800s. By farming organically and focusing on old vine vineyards of these varieties, Turley aims to both create and preserve California’s unique winemaking culture.
Born in Tennessee and raised in Georgia, Larry has spent the better part of his life on a farm. This being the south, they were primarily tobacco and dairy farms; nevertheless, his respect for the land and its cultivation began at a young age. As an adult, Larry channeled this passion for preservation towards people, studying medicine and working as an emergency room physician. After moving to California in the mid-seventies, Larry came home from the ER one night to discover someone camped on his property. After first driving his motorcycle through the tent (this was, after all, the 1970’s in the “wild wild west”) he met its occupant, John Williams, the soon-to-be winemaker at Spring Mountain. After sharing a glass of wine, they became friends; a few bottles later, they became business partners. Frog’s Leap Winery was begat in 1981, with Larry on a tractor by day and suturing by night.
The winery enjoyed quick success; however, much like Athena originated as an ache in Zeus’ head, the impetus for a smaller, more focused project began to take shape in Larry’s mind. He’d taken a shining to the wines made from Zinfandel & Petite Syrah, growing particularly fond of those made from old vine vineyards. Eventually he sold his half of Frog’s Leap to John and started Turley Wine Cellars in 1993.
Because Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like, Turley now makes 47 separate wines from over 50 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Often weak and decaying, these old vine vineyards require extra care and attention in order to restore them to their former glory. After twenty-five years in the emergency room, Larry can now focus his resuscitative skills on the various old vineyards that comprise the wines he loves.
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 is made from 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano
The 2015 Gran Reserva 904 Tinto offers great aromatic complexity, with notes of wild strawberry, red cherry, plum, blackberry and cranberry combined with aromas of tobacco, brioche, ground coffee, caramel, cedar and cinnamon blossom. The alcohol and acidity are elegantly balanced on the palate and its polished, gentle tannins and freshness provide a smooth and refined mouthfeel. Fine, delicate and very long aftertaste, that will continue to be rounded with time in the bottle, making this new Gran Reserva 904 a wine with great cellaring potential.
Especially recommended with all kinds of meat and stews, seasoned fish and desserts with chocolate or red fruit toppings. Perfect as an after-dinner drink.
A perfumed nose of plums, mulberries, mushrooms, caramel, sweet tobacco and sweet spices. Full-bodied with velvety, fine tannins and lively acidity. Balanced and supple with a creamy texture. Delicate and precise with a long, polished finish.
- James Suckling 97 Points
Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Vieilles Vignes 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne and 20% Viognier
The wine has a beautiful golden color.
The aromas are rich and exotic with mango, almonds, toast, lemon, pineapple white flowers and papaye. These aromas will develop to honey, butter and pear after ageing for a few years.
The finish is long, citrusy and toasty.
Terroir: Slopes of sandy soil or grey limestone.
Yield: 25 -30 hl/ha
Age of the vines: 70 years old minimum. The oldest are around 90 years old.
The grapes are pressed pneumatically after a few hours contact with the skins.The must is kept at 20°c during the alcoholic fermentation to optimise the aromas and respect the wine’s suppleness.
Barrel fermented an aged in 228-liter French Oak barrel for 12 months with regular stirrings of the lees.
MaloLactic Fermentation also in barrel.
Enjoy this wine with rich dish, river fish or poultry cooking in creamy sauce. Delicious with a mushroom risotto.
All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collectors cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.
Croix Senaillet St. Veran Les Rochats is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
This Saint Veran Les Rochats is produced from 50-year-old Chardonnay vines, grown organically on Jurassic-era limestone (Entroque limestone), covered by pebbles that act as a filtering soil. The parcel is southeast facing on half hills.
Clear golden color with light green reflections. The wine has a rich and complex bouquet with a wide array of aromas: pear, nougat, wild peach and kiwi. The mouth is rich and dense bringing freshness with a nice volume and finishing on a light exotic note.
Surface area : 1 Ha.
Soil : limestone soil from the Jurassic period, covered by pebbles acting like a filtering soil.
South-east facing parcel on half-hills.
Grape variety : organically-grown Chardonnay.
Plantation density : 8.500 vinestocks per ha.
Age of vines : 50 years.
Mâconnais style pruning quite short, with 10 to 12 buds.
Hand-harvesting at optimal maturity.
Destemming to avoid herbaceous taste.
Slow and gentle pneumatic pressuring guarantees purity of juice and extraction of the finest aromas.
Very slow alcoholic fermentation in stainless still tank.
Aging in stainless steel tanks for 9 months with gentle stirring of fine lees.
Pairs well with shrimp risotto, sautéed veal with eggplant.