OLD VINE ZINFANDEL
2015 Dry Soucie Vineyard m2 Wines
After the huge success of the 2013 the charming, colourful and very talented Layne Montgomery has jumped us on a vintage to this 2015. Skipping the 2014 which saddened him, not least because his printer made such a mess of the labels he was too embarrassed for us to have them on the shelves of our shops! Fortunately the 2015 is another belter from the historic Soucie vineyard. Here he works 3 acres of the old gnarly, Zinfandel bush vines (half the vineyard) on the coolest, most eastern flank of the Lodi wine region. The vines here are ungrafted and untrained and have been producing top quality Zinfandel since they were planted over hundred years ago in 1916. This is a superb example of Californian Zinfandel - and shows the best of what can be done here with ancient vines and beautifully intense fruit. This is quite full on, a lovely intense, ripe dark fruit gives a plush, flesh to the middle and then the pepper and a lovely undergrowthy spice kicks in and tightens things up a bit. Only 25% of this spends time in new American Oak, which is all that it needs to maintain that bright, broad dark fruit character but stops well short of being too plump - a real gem that pulls no punches. L&S (Jun 2017)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Layne Montgomery is a charming, colourful character and a very talented winemaker. Self-taught he started this fantastic project in 2004, creating dynamic, artisanal wines from distinctive vineyards on the West side of Lodi, California.
Some vines are now over 100 years old, which is remarkable for this oft forgotten part of the wine world. He eschews French oak for American oak. 'French oak is too delicate, he says. 'It's like putting lipstick on John Wayne'.
The wines have simply got better and better as Layne has honed his craft and he is now making stand out wines for the region. When we met him on a balmy August night amongst the vines of Lodi we were immediately enchanted by his stunning wines and amusing, outspoken character. These are wines with personality and a refined sense of place.
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