Saturday, April 23, 2011

2009 REDS "Old Vines" (Lodi, Cal.)

Long-time readers know I'm usually pretty critical of wines from Lodi, but I wanted to give this one a shot because it's made by Patrick Campbell, former owner of Laurel Glen, who made his reputation making stellar Sonoma Cabernets, but apparently has quit that to focus on making Lodi wines.

This blend of primarily old vine Zin, along with old vine Carignane and Petite Sirah was a good, solid wine, with lots of flavor, but it's still got that muddled fruit thing that I find in lots and lots of Lodi reds. By muddled, I mean that the fruit just doesn't seem as vibrant and focused as that from similarly old vines in other well-regarded regions. But this doesn't have it nearly as much as most Lodi old vine Zins.

Almost saturated violet-tinged black ruby. Winey nose of minerals and ripe, tangy generic berry fruit. Lots of that generic berryness hits the palate right away but fades pretty quickly into a full-bodied winey character. Not as flabby, loamy, or muddled as most Lodi reds. B. For $8 and change (at Spec's on Smith), it's a good, solid value, but it's kind of a blunt instrument. Of course, at that price-point, there isn't much that's much better, but I generally prefer a good, cheap, zesty Spanish Garnacha or fuller, richer Monastrell.

(I also bought a bottle of Campbell's 2009 ZaZIN!, which is basically his best selection of super-old vine Zin from the best sub-area in Lodi, and am hopeful that that one will finally sell me on Lodi. We'll see.)

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