Our first stop at an individual winery here in Lodi is Jessie’s Grove Winery (www.jessiesgrovewinery.com), where we are greeted in the tasting room by a delightful young lady named Michele. The tasting room is housed in an 1870’s building. This is an old family ranch founded by Jessie’s father and established in 1868. Lots of history here. There is a museum on the property that has artifacts exclusively from the ranch, whose property once produced the largest wheat crops in California.
Wines we tasted there:
2006 Jessence Blanc – a blend of 49% Viognier, 42% Roussanne, and 9% Marsanne. This wine is perfectly balanced and very refreshing with lots of apple character and a hint of peach.
2006 Chardonnay – barrel fermented and aged on the lees in new American oak, there is a creamy caramel apple, a little butter, and nice hit of oak. Very lingering on the palate.
2005 Carignane – this is not a wine you find often as a varietal. The vineyard this wine was made from is 117 years old. The result is a very velvety, soft wine with some nice blueberry flavors and a bit of vanilla.
2006 Earth Zin & Fire – Somewhat jammy and a very nice lighter style zin. There were lots of berries…..blackberry and strawberry, with a hint of chocolate. It also has a very eye-catching label.
2005 Westwind – this blend of zinfandel grapes harvested from vineyards between 63 and 119 years old was a luscious, complex wine with lots of layers of fruit, a touch of coffee and tobacco in the nose.
2005 Royal-Tee – once again, ancient vines…119 years old. This wine has everything…..cherry, cassis, blackberry, chocolate, plum and a finish of spices such as pepper and clove. Powerful and rich.
Next stop: Lucas Winery