Now for our stop in Lodi, which has become another favorite location to visit. Once again, this is an area of mostly smaller, family owned wineries that have a lot of personality. The tasting room people are very enjoyable and personable and the wines are excellent. I prefer this type of atmosphere to the big commercial set-ups that tend to be more austere.
This was our first visit to Borra Vineyards (www.borrawinery.com). They have a somewhat small selection in the tasting room (more items listed on the website) compared to other places, but what they have is well made. No doubt this has to do with being able to pay attention to detail. They have a couple excellent blends that are their trademark as well as a few varietals. Here is what we tasted:
2006 White Fusion – this is a blend of 73% Viognier with the rest of the blend being Roussanne and Marsanne. For a white wine that was aged in oak, it had a surprising amount of fruit. This is a lovely food wine. This was not on the list but they let us taste it to compare to the 2007. $16.00
2007 White Fusion - with 82% Viognier and also the rest Roussanne and Marsanne, there was more tropical fruit to this wine along with tangerines and orange blossoms. We really enjoyed this blend. Very well done. $16.00
2006 Red Fusion – a 60% Syrah, 30% Petite Syrah, 5% Zinfandel, 3% Mourvedre, 2% Grenache blend. There was some plum character as well as a good bit of cherry and chocolate. Lots of finesse and very nicely married flavors. Complex. $18.00
2005 Merlot – a lovely Merlot with sweet black cherry and excellent oak integration. Very well balanced. This is what Merlot is all about. $18.00
2005 Old Vine Zinfandel – classic flavors with plum and walnut mixed in. There was a fairly intense anise character to this wine that was both unique and delicious. $20.00
2005 Barbera – some nice vanilla and cherry with a bit of chocolate and a slight mintiness to cap it off. Rich and full bodied. We did not see very much Barbera in Lodi so this was a treat. $25.00
We were able to taste a couple of wines that were for wine club members only. One had just been released and the other was being released in August of 2009. The latter really stood out for its uniqueness.
2007 Field Blend Members Reserve – this blend is 48% Barbera, 23% Carignane, 16% Alicante Bouchet, and 13% Petite Syrah. This was a very interesting wine as it was also sweet, unusual in California for a red vinifera wine. I am betting it will be a great seller as it was very easy to drink and quite complex. $19.99 regular price and $13.99 for wine club members. I must confess that I find that a bit confusing as it is supposedly only being sold to wine club members. Maybe you can talk them out of a bottle at the higher price.