In the heat-drenched valleys of Lodi, between Sacramento and Stockton, one expects big, jammy red wines and there are those. But there’s also a surprising number of deliciously affordable whites and roses, in a range of varietals, from the dry soils of the region. Thanks to Charles Communications, I’ve enjoyed a number of tastings with Lodi winemakers in recent months. Here are a few my standout whites and roses from these tastings:
– 2012 Estate Crush Albarino ($18): Though a custom crush facility, Estate Crush does produce a small amount of their own wines, including this crisp, lemon-y citrus white, fermented in stainless steel.
– 2011 St. Jorge Verdelho Seco ($18): This dry, tropical white from the Alta Mesa region of Lodi is from a varietal acquired in Winemaker Ron Silva’s family village in the Azore Islands of Portugal.
– 2012 Intuition Field Blend White ($22): Swiss-born Winemaker Markus Niggli takes more than a little inspiration from the fantastic whites of the Germanic countries in his lively, dry blend of 60% Kerner, 20% Riesling, 20% Gewurtzraminer grapes, the wine redolent of white pepper and lemon.
– 2012 Acquiesce Belle Blanc ($24): This soon-to-be-released blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne, and 10% Viognier varietals, is lush with pear, subtly floral, with a nice, dry finish.
– 2012 Onesta Wines Cinsault Rosè ($18) – Fermented in stainless steel and 20% neutral oak for a touch of lush texture to the otherwise dry wine, this rose is 100% Cinsault grapes made in my favorite rosè style: Provencal. Though not from Provence, the grapes are from Lodi’s oldest vines planted in 1886, produced by a rosé production method, saignée, that involves bleeding off the juice after limited contact with the skins.
– 2012 McCay Cellars Rosè ($18) This rosè is a blend of Carignane, Syrah and Grenache grapes, resulting in a dry, strawberry and citrus-laden wine, fermented in stainless steel.
– 2012 Sorelle Winery Bella e Rosa Rosado ($16) From a winery that tends to make big reds in the Super Tuscan, Italian varietal vein, this blend of Sangiovese and Barbera varietals plays with tart strawberry notes on the crisper side.
– 2012 Heritage Oak Grenache Rosè ($18): This acidic yet round sipper calls for a summer afternoon and a warm breeze. It’s a blend of 75% Grenache, 12.5% Chardonnay, 12.5% Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
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