Stampede This

LOOK at the color on this Zinfandel, boys & girls. THIS is what zin can–and often should–look like! Forget your moronic *bigger is better* stand-a-fork-up-in-it tourist swills, and recognize what real zinfandel is capable of. Clear and translucent, a shade of garnet rising from the light-ruby core, the nose crammed with gorgeous perfume: sandalwood and nutmeg, a weedy briar lurking, cherry and raspberry gloriously concentrated into *just* a touch of varietally-correct dessertiness. A black, concentrated bouquet completely off-put by the lightness of visual texture.

AND IT’S LODI! Calm and delicious in the mouth, an even-keel of bright berry kneaded by bitter raspiness. The fruit clean but pithy, not a spot of overt concentration or alcohol anywhere on it. Tobacco and leather–which greeted the nose lightly–responding well to the slight age, but a complete back seat to the spicy bright berry. A Zinfandel of surreal balance, reminding me of the classics from St. Helena and light-handed Sonoma Italians 30 years ago. Prune or heat never even cross the mind, the adolescent fruit too busy battling with mellowing tannins and streamlined acidity to bother with raisins or dried fruit. The last thing it leaves you with is clean, bitter fruit.

See? Lodi can make real wine. An absolute tour de force in Zin. And wine in general!

2014 FIELDS FAMILY WINES Zinfandel Stampede Vyd Lodi AVA California 14.3

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