Cline Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2020
Cline Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel is a challenging and rewarding wine to make. Amazing old vine fruit, detailed selection criteria and master blending show in the final wine. A wide array of jammy strawberry and plum aromas followed by black cherry, strawberry and vanilla flavors lead to a smooth and lengthy finish.
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Grown in sandy soil mostly in Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA, head-pruned vines as old as 50 years yield the fruit for this extroverted yet balanced wine. Given its price, we were surprised by its clarity and freshness. Flavors of cinnamonspiced strawberry, cured meats, and garden herbs are mouth-filling and generous.
Cline Family Cellars is a family-owned and operated winery founded by Fred and Nancy Cline in 1982 in Oakley, CA. The winery facilities were relocated in 1991 to the Sonoma Valley, on a 350-acre estate in the Carneros district. The Cline winery and vineyards are built on a foundation of deeply rooted respect for the land and love of winemaking. Recognized for its rich portfolio of wines, Cline is one of the pioneers of California’s Rhone Rangers movement, and the largest holder of 100+ year-old-vine vineyards in California.
Positioned between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Lodi appellation, while relatively far inland, is able to maintain a classic Mediterranean climate featuring warm, sunny days and cool evenings. This is because the appellation is uniquely situated at the end of the Sacramento River Delta, which brings chilly, afternoon “delta breezes” to the area during the growing season.
Lodi is a premier source of 100+ year old ancient Zinfandel vineyards—some dating back as far as 1888! With low yields of small berries, these heritage vines produce complex and bold wines, concentrated in rich and voluptuous, dark fruit.
But Lodi doesn’t just produce Zinfandel; in fact, the appellation produces high quality wines from over 100 different grape varieties. Among them are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc as well as some of California's more rare and unique grapes. Lodi is recognized as an ideal spot for growing Spanish varieties like Albarino and Tempranillo, Portugese varieties—namely Touriga Nacional—as well as many German, Italian and French varieties.
Soil types vary widely among Lodi’s seven sub-appellations (Cosumnes River, Alta Mesa, Deer Creek Hills, Borden Ranch, Jahant, Clements Hills and Mokelumne River). The eastern hills are clay-based and rocky and in the west, along the Mokelumne and Cosumnes Rivers, sandy and mineral-heavy soils support the majority of Lodi’s century-old own-rooted Zinfandel vineyards. Unique to Lodi are pink Rocklin-Jahant loam soils, mainly found in the Jahant sub-appellation.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured it’s title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the states’ diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, which sourced a journey to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.