This week I have to rant a bit about some really impressive wines from Fields Family Wines. This Lodi estate and winery was purchased by Russ Fields in 2005, and Ryan Sherman makes the wines.
This producer represents everything I love about Lodi wines — lots of old vines, a wide range of grape varieties, vibrant flavor profiles. But these wines are also leaner, fresher and more minimalist in style than some of the burlier wines one can find from Lodi.
I’ve long been a fan of the Syrahs and Tempranillo from this producer, although I’ve never tasted an unexciting wine, and I’m excited to see what Ryan continues to do with Grenache Blanc and Vermentino. On top of the quality, this wines are a ripping deal considering the price tags.
They were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.
2016 Fields Family Wines Grenache Blanc DeLu Vineyard - California, Central Valley, Lodi
Interesting pale copper color. Aromas of chalk dust, sea shells, limestone on top of peaches and apricots and orange blossom. Zesty acidity on the palate of this medium-bodied wine, it’s full of juicy fruit (apricot, green apple, lemon curd) but complex with elements of chalk dust, honeysuckle, sea shells, floral perfume. Mineral-driven, oceanic, crisp, lively, delicious stuff. More California Grenache Blanc, please! (91 points)
2016 Fields Family Wines Vermentino DeLu Vineyard - California, Central Valley, Lodi
Medium yellow color. Love the nose of peaches and citrus peel, along with complex floral notes and sea salt. Crisp and lively wine on a medium-bodied frame with lots of lemon zest, peach nectar, apricot, along with chalky, sea shell and sea breeze notes and a whole lot of baby’s breath and cut flowers. Tingling minerality on the finish. Delicious, complex stuff. Insane value here. (92 points)
2014 Fields Family Wines Tempranillo Lot 13 Vineyard - California, Central Valley, Lodi
Light purple color. Aromatic waves of red and black cherries and currants, complex roses and violets, spicy potpourri, anise, clay pots, tobacco and coffee grounds. Full-bodied, solid grip to the tannins, moderating acidity keeps it balanced. Plush but tangy with red and black cherries, plums and smoky figs, along with cocoa, anise, charcoal dust, tobacco pipe, grilled herbs, violets. Wow, the balance is pristine, the depth is obvious, the deliciousness is undeniable and I’d love to hold this for 3-5 years. (92 points)
2014 Fields Family Wines Syrah Estate - California, Central Valley, Lodi, Mokelumne River
Light purple color. Smells of spiced coffee, tobacco, black pepper, cinnamon, on top of tart black cherries, raspberries and tangy plums. Medium+ tannins, fresh acidity, nice balance and vibrancy but structure for the cellar. Tart plums and raspberries mix with cola, cocoa powder, spiced black tea, chicory coffee, cedar, fallen leaves and pepper. Lovely balance and freshness but this is also serious and will improve in the cellar. Stellar for the price. All Syrah aged in less than 20% new French oak. (91 points)
2016 Fields Family Wines Syrah Whole Cluster - California, Central Valley, Lodi
Lively ruby color. Aromas of bright red cherries, wild blueberries, roses, black pepper, lavender, incense sticks. Wow, complex elements of earth and smashed rocks – fascinating to sniff. Medium-bodied with lip-smacking acidity, fresh but shows medium/dusty tannins. Plump but tart fruit (red and black cherries and tangy plums). Notes of coffee, black pepper, clove, bay leaf, loamy soil. Bright and juicy but complex, yet so easy to drink. 100% whole cluster, semi-carbonic fermentation in old barrels, 12.8% alcohol. Seek this out if you’re looking for a more Old World style Syrah from Lodi. Wow. (93 points)
2014 Fields Family Wines Zinfandel Stampede Vineyard - California, Central Valley, Lodi, Clements Hills
Gorgeous ruby color. Vibrant aromas of red cherries, currants, strawberry, with lots of spicy oregano, rhubarb, pipe tobacco, violets and pepper. On the palate this shows solid but suave tannins, moderating acidity, and a lip-smacking appeal. Packed with cherries and currants, the fruit is tart but deep, and laced with notes of rich clay and loamy earth, violets, coffee, black olive, clove and spiced coffee. Silky, clean and crisp but packed with complex flavors and aging potential. (92 points)
This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.