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.
Very vibrant and incredibly deep and colorful. The nose begins with black cherry, crème de cassis, black and blue fruit and even hints of floral. The French Oak moves in with a colorful spice box nuance with a longer take in the glass. On the palate this wine crescendos with velvet all around. There is an enveloped warmth and richness right away at the focal point in the mouth. Flavors swirl and build and on into the back for a huge finish of ripe blackberry jam.
Winemaking: Trione Cabernet Sauvignon Block 21 2011 is a classic Bordeaux blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 2% each of Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec. The 2010 growing season was moderate, thus promoting slow ripening and full flavor development. We hand-harvested and fermented each variety separately, then moved the wines to barrel, where they aged twelve months. Once we determined our blend, we returned the wine to barrel for an additional twelve months, to 'marry' the varietals. We used tight-grained French oak barrels (45% new) from coopers Taransaud, Vicard and Bossuet.
Complex, rich aromas foretell rich flavors of black currants, allspice and a hint of clove. The wine is full bodied, with velvety texture, smooth tannins and an extensive finish. Beautifully balanced, this Cabernet will age for ten more years.
Alcohol: 14.25 percent by volume
This is a standout wine from the vintage, made from a selection of the Trione Cloverdale Ranch. Blended with smaller percentages of Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, it sings in robust red and black cherry and currant, as well as more luxurious waves of chocolate and vanilla. There's a forwardness to the texture, making for a wine that's both big and happy. Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
The Sciandri family, they are wonderful people. Mr. Sciandri was a firefighter. When he retired from the fire department, he planted some vines in the Coombsville AVA, near the Caldwell vineyard, with plans of selling the fruit to some esteemed wineries. The Sciandri family asked Hank if he would consider purchasing fruit and making a Cabernet from their vineyard. Hank wanted to support the family, and he also knew the vineyard was in a prime location (plus he has complete belief in his winemaker). Hank took 5 tons of Cabernet fruit from the Sciandri family in 2017. He made just 200 cases. This wine is entering the market with rave reviews from Hank’s largest critics. He wishes he could’ve made twice as much!
Our Cabernet Grapes came from The Sciandri Vineyard in the Coombsville area just east of the city of Napa. The 4 acre vineyard, planted with clone 337 has a western exposure that stays cool thru influences of the San Pablo Bay. This allows for long hang time that usually harvests at the end of October. The soil is well drained rocky hillside, primarily Hambright-Rock outcrop complex and Coombs gravelly loam.
The grapes came in small-berried, deep black-blue and loose on the clusters. Following a five day cold soak, the fermentation took seven days followed by a 14-day extended maceration. After which the wine was pressed and transferred to small French Oak barrels for aging. The wine was bottled in summer 2019 after twenty months of maturation in 80% new French oak barrels.
Aromas of dark plum, cassis and anise meld seamlessly with savory dried herbs. The mouth transforms into raspberry sweetness and a mineral note. This palate coating wine has a great toasted oak long finish. Wonderful now, this wine will however benefit from further bottle ageing reaching its peak in 3 to 6 years but drinkable for 10 years. Only 200 cases produced.
From a vineyard situated in Lake County that dates back to the 1880’s. Ruby red in color. 14.5% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, flowers and baking spices. Medium body with bright acidity. Fresh and elegant. Bing cherry, raspberry, strawberry and a touch of peach on the palate. The finish is exquisite. Drink over the next 2-4 years. $35 at the winery and retail. Zinfandel Chronicles 93 points.
““Lively and sleek, with floral raspberry, bay leaf and pepper flavors that glide toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025.—T.F. Wine Spectator, Insider Vol 14 No. 47 : March 31st, 2019 – 92pts
Zanon Zinfandel is made from 84% Old Vine Zinfandel, and 16% petite Sirah.
Zanon Zinfandel is a classic Dry Creek Valley Zin. The wine exudes typical blackberry and raspberry aromas along with a dash of black pepper and warm baking spice. A long elegant finish is framed by a kiss of vanilla oak. The blend is 84% Zinfandel and 16% Petite Sirah which adds color and structure. Enjoy this cork finished Zinfandel now or cellar for 2-4 years.
The Zinfandel vineyards are located on the hillsides in the scenic and bucolic setting of the historic Dry Creek Valley. This region has long been considered the Mecca for great Zinfandel. The vines are head-pruned and hand-picked from old vine vineyards.
Pairs with pasta with red sauces, BBQ, Grilled foods, Cheeses, Chocolate.
Van Ruiten Glory Days Zinfandel 2011 is made from 100 percent Zinfandel
The wine has a dark, rich color and plenty of minerality, loads of bright and savory raspberry and black currant fruit, with hints of pepper and crushed rocks. This wine pushes the envelope of sheer decadence with an expressive fragrance of briary berries, pepper, and spice.
The Van Ruiten Winery Estate
Mid-way between the Sierra Foothills and San Francisco Bay Delta, vineyards such as those owned by the Van Ruiten Family profit from the ideal delta influenced climate (cool afternoon breeze) that produce ripe full-flavored Zinfandels. Before settlement, the San Joaquin Valley was often an inland sea after winter rains and spring snow melt. The resulting flood drainage and soil deposits surrounding Lodi left a rich soil that drains easily, producing one-of-a-kind harvests.
For 50 years, the grapes grown in the Van Ruiten vineyards were harvested and shipped to other wineries every summer. The family wanted to branch out into winemaking, and in 1999 the first varieties of the Van Ruiten wines went into production. Among the most memorable and lasting first wines was a Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend that remains one of the families most popular today, along with the famous Old Vine Zinfandel, and the exceptional Chardonnay.
In 2000, less than a year after kicking off its first season of winemaking, the Van Ruiten family opened a state-of-the-art winery among their vineyards along Highway 12. The following year saw an addition of a tasting room, which allowed thirsty travelers to sample the winery's growing list of award winning wines. Soon a growing number of local boutique wineries were knocking at the door, seeking custom crush and winemaking services.
World class wine collectors, as well as leading vintners, entrepreneurs, consumers and wine lovers have quickly discovered the distinctiveness and quality available through the old family vineyards in Lodi. They now look for the Lodi and specifically the Van Ruiten Family name when patronizing exclusive establishments presenting the best wines for the world to their customers.
Three generations of the Van Ruiten family now work together tending the vineyards, managing the winery and bringing the finest wines to market. The Van Ruitens believe that hard work and an uncompromising commitment to excellence are the cornerstones of success today, and for their sixteen grandchildren and the generations to come.
The Van Ruiten Family has been growing grapes in the Lodi area for more than 50 years. What started out as a table grape community slowly transitioned into the growing of wine grapes in the early 1900’s. Among the flourishing vines was the legendary Lodi Zinfandel. John’s first acres of Zinfandel still remain as part of the estate today. These Zinfandel vines are among the oldest, most historic and shyest bearing vines. Our newest addition in 2007 was the planting of our 40 acre Primitivo vineyard. This red varietal, also known as Zingarello, is genetically related to California’s Zinfandel. It originated and is still mainly grown in Southern Italy, but it is starting to make its way around the world.
Throughout the last five decades the farming practices have changed with the introduction of new technology and eco-friendly farming techniques. In an effort to move in the direction of Sustainable Farming Practices we erected nesting boxes for owls throughout our vineyards. The owls that reside in these boxes help keep the rodent population down without the use of poisons in the soil. Over the course of the last few years, thanks to the owls, the rodent population is under control without the use of pesticides. Though farming practices have changed, the motto has stayed the same. The family has prided itself in the uncompromising commitment to producing top quality grapes and passing knowledge down from generation to generation, while sharing newly learned growing practices.
After five decades the family farms an estimated 1000 acres of wine grapes, with only their best fruit destined to carry the family name. All of the fruit that enters the winery for Van Ruiten Vineyards has been picked by hand at its perfect ripeness and gently pressed to preserve the delicacy and purity of the fruits rich flavors. Three generations of the Van Ruiten family now work together tending the vineyards, managing the winery and envisioning a future for their ever growing cellar and tasting room.
Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon Importers Reserve 2012 is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The color is a deep red. The nose is lifted with delightful floral notes of wild roses. In addition the nose also shows characters of currants, green beans and roasted capsicum. the palate has intense blackcurrant fruit complimented by coffee, nutmeg and dried herbs. The palate is medium bodied with sweet berry fruits right through to the finish. The seamless tannins are soft and silky, adding further complexity to this well balanced wine.
Drink this one over the next 5 to 7 years.
Colline Saint Jean Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
This wine has a deep purple color, with an intense nose of ripe black fruits, plum, brandied cherries, and chocolate. In the mouth, the wine has rich flavors of black fruits. It is meaty, well-structured, and the tannins are round and elegant.
The juice is aged in concrete tanks for 18 months. The lack of oak helps to frame in the bright and defined dark berry flavors of the old vine grapes. I can not recall another red wine that displays this depth yet displays on the palate with such refreshing acidity.
Vieilles Vignes means old vines.For this specific wine, the age of the vines are comprised between 85 and 110 years old.
Traditional method. Manually picked. Harvest carefully sorted and 100% destemed. Maceration with skins during 20 days in cement vats. Large work of pump over to push the cap.
Red meat, game, white meat, poultry, dishes in sauce, cheese, chocolate dessert.