When someone says ‘old vines’ in California, you might immediately recall the 60′s when the hippies first invaded Napa County or the 1970′s when California wine first made a name for itself. But the early 1900′s? Never in a 110 years would my mind go there.
But that is when the Fleten family settled in the Lodi district and planted their grapes including Zinfandel, Tokay, Carignane, and Alicante. Since then, the Felten family has kept the winery in the family…currently owned and operated by Steve & Lori Felten (fifth generation winemakers), their team as includes extended relatives Barry Gnekow (winemaker) and Lynne Whyte Bernard (President).
The Lodi region of California is located on the edge of the San Joaquin Valley just east of San Francisco. Although the region didn’t and AVA designation until 1986, the region has been growing grapes since as early as the 1950′s. The region has a climate very similar to areas along the Mediterranean Sea’s coast with warm days and cool nights. The region has a great variety of soil contents, although in most cases it contains deep loam and large rocks. Klinker Brick grows most of their old vine Zinfandel in the sub appellation of the Mokelumner River, which is an area that follows the river from the Sierra Nevadas to the San Joaquin River (the heart of the appellation). Soil here is deposits of sand and loam in an alluvial fan shape (see an example of an alluvial fan to the right).
Here are some of our favorite selections from Klinker Brick:
2008 Old Vine Zinfandel
From: Mokelumne River, Lodi, California
About (From the Winery): The 2008 vintage produced lower yields than the previous vintage resulting in wines with deep color and rich, explosive fruit. This wine offers aromas of black cherries and fresh strawberries and toasty oak. On the palate, there are layers of dark fruit intermingled with sweet vanilla and spice. This wine has an incredibly smooth and long, lingering finish. Our winemaker believes that it is the best Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel that we have produced to date.
2008 Lodi Farrah Syrah
From: Lodi, California
About (From the Winery): With aromas of black cherry, cedar shavings with just a hint of tobacco, the 2008 Farrah Syrah is a smooth, beautifully balanced wine with dense layers of spiced plum. The texture is supple and silky and the finish, long and lingering.