Lodi Wines for Backyard BBQ: Klinker Brick, St. Amant Winery, Mettler Family, Harney Lane

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as a sea of friendly "wine peeps" to meet in real life and via those wonderful and time-consuming social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more about Lodi wine at lodiwine.com

I had an opportunity to taste the four wines below during an event put on by the good folks at Charles Communications and Lodi Wine (aka LoCA). For many of you, the seasonal warmth of spring and summer are ideal for backyard barbecues. For your drinking and food-pairing pleasure, check out the tasty Lodi selections I’ve reviewed below. All four wines are grill-friendly in nature and great matches for just about any red meat. The meat’s fat (and protein), smokiness, texture, and full flavors will marry nicely with these ripe and juicy wines. For further information and where you can find them, please see my tasting notes.

Klinker Brick Winery 2011 Brick and Mortar

Review: Klinker Brick Winery 2011 Bricks & Mortar (SRP $30): This deeply colored red blended wine is composed of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Petite Sirah, and 10% Old Vine Zinfandel. Rich aromas of plum, boysenberry, and blackberry preserve fill the nose with hints of allspice and cocoa nibs. The palate is full-bodied and round with layers of generous fruit, a velvety texture, and a spice-accented, delightful finish. Overall, this wine is large-framed and ripe, but it carries the weight and alcohol well. I enjoyed it both on its own and with spare ribs. Region: Lodi (Mokelumne River AVA), California. (Other info: ABV 15%, matured in American oak, cork enclosure.) 90 Points. Click here to find this wine.

St. Amant Winery 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel

Review: St. Amant Winery Marian’s Vineyard 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel (SRP $24): While the term “Old Vine” has no legal definition, the fruit for this wine comes from an 8.3-acre block that was planted on the Mohr-Fry Ranch in 1901. Difficult not to think of these century-old berries as anything but old vine, eh? Deep garnet in color, this wine exhibits aromas and flavors of smoked cherry, wild berry, ripe plum, and a toasty sage-like component. It is slightly briary in character with understated acidity, well-concealed alcohol, and ends with a pleasant, medium-length, spice-accented finish. Winemaker Stuart Spencer recommends having a glass with grilled burgers, tri-tip steak, ribs, or his personal favorite, “chocolate salad.” I enjoyed a glass with a burger and the pairing worked out nicely – especially with all the maple-and-pepper bacon I placed on top of the patty. Though, the chocolate salad creation sounds pretty interesting! Approximately 403 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Lodi, California. (Other info: ABV 15.1%, Aged in barrel 10 months, 30% new, cork enclosure). 88 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Mettler Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Review: Mettler Family Vineyards 2010 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP: $24): The Mettler family has grown grapes in Lodi, across six generations, since 1899 -- which is impressive to say the least. Their estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with 13% Petite Sirah and 1% Petite Verdot. In the glass, the wine displays a deep garnet-purple color with aromas of black cherries, blackberry, and mulberry intertwined with spice box, cedar shavings, and underlying floral tones. The aromas carry over to the palate with a fairly rich, round mouth-feel, ripe tannins, and balanced acidity, finishing with a savory mix of [baking] spices and dried herbs. Overall, this is a nice wine that won’t break the piggy bank that’s sure to complement spring and summertime backyard barbecues – think grilled burgers, sausage, chops, chicken, etc. Region: Lodi, California. (Other info: ABV 14.9%, 22 months in French oak, cork enclosure.) 89 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Harney Lane Winery Lizzy James 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel

Review: Harney Lane Winery 2011 Lizzy James Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel (SRP $35): This wine is full-bodied and ripe with an expressive mix of wild berries, black cherry fruit jam, sweet plum, and baking spice aromas. The palate matches the nose in this dense, yet juicy, fleshier textured wine which carries its rich fruit flavors and high alcohol relatively well. It completes with a spicy, vanilla-oak accented medium-length (slightly drying) finish. Zinfandel loves ribs, and this assertive wine would pair best with a rack that benefits from a bit of smoke and a bold and flavorful mopping sauce.  Approximately 443 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Lodi, California. (Other info: ABV 15.9%, 22 months French oak maturation, cork enclosure). 88 Points.  Click here to find this wine.

Fire up the grill with Lodi wine! 

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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