Oh California, I first visited California in my early twenties. I fell in love with the climate and freedom of Los Angeles. The breeze of the west coast is something you won’t forget for the rest of your life.
What I regret to this day is that I didn’t visit any vineyards on that trip. My love for wine already existed, but for some reason it just didn’t happen. A good reason to go back, hopefully soon when this Corona misery is over.
For now I was inspired to talk about California from my living room on the canals of Amsterdam. This week I tasted a delicious Old vine Zinfandel from Lodi, from the house Brazin. During my wine studies I already tasted quite a few American and Californian wines, but in daily life I have to admit I haven’t been in touch with these wines all to often. Matter of a surplus of European wine in my life I think. It’s a pity to forget how tasty a good glass of California can be.
California and wine regions
Just a little background information in case you forgot, like me. No less than 90% of all American wine is made in California, with around 230,000 hectares producing almost three billion bottles of wine.
Lodi is located in one of the six wine regions of California, namely the Central Valley. The other areas are: North Coast, Humboldt, Sierra Foothills, Central Coast, South Coast.
Lodi and Central Valley
Central Valley is the heart of California’s agriculture, it’s a huge area and a lot of bulk wine comes from the area. The most important AVA (stands for American Viticultural Area, the American version of the geographical designation of origin) of Central Valley is Lodi. In order to be AVA, 85% of the grapes in the bottle must come from the area in question.
Lodi obtained the AVA in 1986. Today there are more than 80 wineries in the region. Although there are many different grape varieties growing in Lodi, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon blanc, the area is mainly known for its jammy Zinfandels. First vines were planted as early as 1888 and many of them still exist today. The beauty of old vines is that they produce less and less wine, why I think that is beautiful? Wine that is produced is nicely concentrated and has a lot of aromas and taste. Aha. A bit like your grandmother’s cooking.
Lodi climate and soil
The climate in Lodi is comparable to a Mediterranean climate on the Mediterranean Sea. Warm sunny days and nice cool nights with a delicious sea breeze. The soil is quite diverse in the vast area but most old vine Zinfandels are planted on the banks of the river Mokelumne where the soil consists of fine sand and loam.
Brazin old vine Zinfandel 2012
The old vine Zinfandel 2012 that I tasted from the house Brazin, is made by the family Indelicato. This family with Italian roots was one of the first families to produce wine in California. Today they have several wineries and won several awards for best winery.
The Old vine Zinfandel 2012 from Lodi is dark and warm. Juicy, full bodied and powerful. Spices in the nose, notes of mocha and chocolate. The taste is intense, blackberries and plums, ripe tannins, soft vanilla from the French oak barrels with a long deep finish. Delicious with fatty and spicy meat dishes but I really enjoyed a glass on its own.
Lear more bout Lodi here.