I visited Harmony Wynelands in Lodi recently. I wanted to post pictures of how they have flooded some of their old vines because the drought has been so bad. I figured as long as I was doing that, I should review their wines. I have been pretty busy with work and a class I am taking, so I am behind on posting. I’m sure I will have some pithy comments about the NFL soon.
Harmony Wynelands is a small winery in Lodi. They may produce anywhere from 1,000-5,000 cases in a given year. They make some good wines, but they may make more money as a center for weddings and other events. They have a pipe organ from an old movie theater in the tasting room and they have silent movie nights where the organ is played. The winery is owned by Bob Hartzell, former president of the California Wine & Grape Growers Association. Shaun MacKay is the winemaker & viticulturist. Shaun was nice enough to hang out with me for a while and answer my esoteric questions about how they train their vines. We also talked about their use of native yeast in some of their wines and the problems of working with vines as much as 100+ years. They are worth a stop if you are in Lodi. That’s especially true if the weather is nice and you have time to sit outside and have a glass of wine.
They were out of their 100% Alicante Bouschet wine. I want to try that one next time around. Here is what I tried…
Harmony Wynelands Chardonnay 2012 $16
This wine has tons of green apple. It is fruity with no oak. It is a pretty tasty wine for those who are tired of overly oaked Chardonnay.
Harmony Wynelands Riesling 2012 $19
I don’t know if I would have correctly identified this wine as Riesling when I first smelled it. It is very floral. I know that Riesling is a floral grape, but somehow this had an almost Muscat quality to the floral notes. While this wine isn’t the style that I prefer, I can see how it is one of their better sellers. It has a medium sweetness to it and I can see how it would be a great picnic wine for those who like their Riesling on the sweeter side.
Harmony Wynelands GMA 2011 $32
33% Grenache, 33% Mouvedre, 33% Alicante Bouschet This has a more rich flavor with deeper notes than I really expected from this blend. There is a little bit of spice on the nose. On the palate I taste blackberry, boysenberry, and cinnamon. I took home a bottle of this one.
Harmony Wynelands Pipe Dreams Old Vine Zinfandel $44 This is a blend of 3 vintages. The grapes come from 40 year old vines. This has very deep flavors. Part of that comes from 2 years in French oak. I tasted black cherry and dark chocolate. It’s a very fruit driven wine considering the oak influence. It clocks in at 15.7% alcohol. You definitely notice the alcohol, but it never seems too out of whack to me. Half of the wine was fermented on native yeast.
Harmony Wynelands Zinsation dessert wine $16 (I believe this was in a 500ml)
I get pruned and plummy fruit. This will be a hit with anyone who likes Port style wines made with Zinfandel. I need to pick up a bottle before I see my Dad again. He will love it! This wine wasn’t fortified, but it is still a big dessert wine. The grapes were picked at 28 brix. I’m impressed that Shaun was able to get to 16.5% alcohol on this wine primarily using native yeast. Often native yeast has a lower alcohol tolerance and can die at much lower levels. Even commercial yeast doesn’t tend to do well over 16%.
Harmony Wynelands Champagne $12.00
Sweet to off dry, French Colombard based sparkling wine. This is a mild and lightly flavored sparkling wine, but it is actually pretty nice. There isn’t much complexity here, but my guess is that it is primarily drunk at weddings at the winery and it would be perfect for a large group that might not enjoy dry nutty Champagne.
I guess I should throw in one comment on football here so…
Congratulations to Peyton Manning for having the best regular season ever for a quarterback who was stomped in the Super Bowl.