Fresh back from the Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend, I have to say, It certainly looked successful for the Lodi Vintners!  However, not so successful for someone who really wanted to do some wine tasting.  We have never seen so many Limousines, Limo Buses (small and large), Limo Cadillacs, Navigators, and Excursions!  WOW!  WOW! WOW!  The Limo companies were happy too!  We do realize that attending these events really are not for serious wine tasting, it’s for fun and excellent people watching!

With 40 Lodi Wine Country wineries tasting for a weekend of wine and chocolate it’s hard to get to them all.

We began at Michael-David Winery.  We began with 2010 Incognito White, 2010 Heavenly Chards, and 2011 Symphony – none of them leaving us with a lasting impression.  For us it was the 09 Petite Petit that won our hearts.  Petite Petit is large!  A  blend of 85% Petite Sirah and 15% Petit Verdot.  Full-bodied,  loaded with  black fruit and vanilla flavors that coat the palate. It is rich with a finish that is a little dry and seems to linger. Petite Petit is $18.  Bringing this home we would let it sit and open up a bit before sipping.

While visiting this winery I came across some fun trinkets…Wingo Gift Tags for Bottles.  So cute!   WINGO makes it fun, fast, & easy to gift alcohol. WINGO is a personalized gift tag that fits  around the neck of almost any bottle of wine or alcohol. Simple, fun, and catches your eye!

Next it was off to Jessie’s Grove Winery.  With little elbow room to move about, I sipped quickly and wanted out of there!   My only tasting was of the Ancient Vine Carignane.  This wine stem from their two ancient vineyard blocks dating 120-years and 110-years old. A smooth wine, with layers of blueberry, cedar and roasted French vanilla beans.   Considered one of the classic French Rhone wines, this wine was one to taste.  The Ancient Vine Carignane.has won gold from numerous Inter-national Rhone competitions.

Klinker Brick Winery.  The best of our Lodi visit!  Two words- Old Ghost.   Old Ghost represents the very best lots of old vine zinfandel that Klinker Brick produces annually. For the past three vintages, that wine has come from 90 plus-year-old vineyard blocks. We were told that The Old Ghost has a mind of its own and behaves accordingly in the cellar. The good news is that each vintage has produced an extraordinary wine, full of character and complexity. Rich and thick this wine is sexy with soft tannins and lots of chocolate and cherry with hints of cardamom and black pepper.  Let this one sit!

We also visited Berghold Winery,  Ripkin Vinyards, and Van Ruiten Family Winery.  We decided it only fair that we come back to Lodi on a “non-event” weekend and really try some wine.  This way we can talk to the wine makers, and move about at our own pace without having to wait for the “wine bar hoarders”, who have no clue about wine tasting etiquette, to move. 

The winner of the day-  Klinker Brick’s Old Ghost

All in all, a great day with friends and good wine!