The more that I write about wines, the more I realize how little I know. I mean there are so many areas and so many wineries that I am not sure that I can ever learn enough or try enough wines. There is a certain amount of conceit that begins when one writes about any subject and the more one delves into the subject, the more one realizes that the acquired knowledge is scant. I have never been to Lodi and when the chance occurred to try some wines from that area at D. Vine Fine Wines in Livonia, I had to try them. Lodi is directly East of San Francisco and because of the bay, it maintains a more moderate almost Mediterranean climate, helped by the many rivers in the area. While it is part of the much larger Central Valley, it has its own AVA, because of the soil and terrain that differentiates it from much of the Central Valley that is known for producing bulk fruit for wines. Part of my hesitance in the beginning to trying wines from this region is that it is known for Zinfandel, and I grew up as a child tasting the home-made “Dago Red” wines that a lot of the immigrants used to make and I never really liked the taste, especially after I started to discover the wines from the Continent. D. Vine Fine Wines was featuring six different bottles from Klinker Brick Winery.
The first wine that we tried that evening was the Klinker Brick Winery Albarino 2015 which is a varietal that is only recently making in-roads in the area. The fruit is from the Mokelumne River area of Lodi and to maintain the crispness of this grape, it was aged for eight months in Stainless Steel. It was a light gold in color with the nose subtle fruit and a refreshing tartness and a touch of the minerals in the terrain, that appealed to me. I found it very easy to drink and it reminded easily of other similar wines that I have enjoyed before.
The second wine of the evening was one that I have actually tried before, and it was at D. Vine on another occasion. The Klinker Brick Winery TranZind Red Blend 2013. Here was a high proof wine that relied heavily on the Old Vine Zinfandel that the area is noted for, and this wine was also from the Mokelumne River Area. The wine was a blend of eighty percent Zinfandel, ten percent Petite Sirah and then an equal amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This was a moderate body wine that was not overpowering as I can find some Zins to be, but you could tell what the major part of the wine was. I will discuss the winery, the regional manager of the winery and some more wines as well.