Bill Dowd photoThis small Lodi, CA, operation boasts its whimsicality as its strength. "We consider ourselves an artisan 'barnista' winery that is uniquely different, electric, eclectic, quirky, esoteric, even wacky, but never boring or weird," they say. They produce very small lots of different wines, mostly under 100 cases. Here's a look at two I tried during a recent visit.
• 2004 Pinot Gris:
This straw-colored offering is made with 100% barrel-fermented Pinot Gris. Crisp notes of citrus, kiwi and tropical fruit flavors balance well with hints of oak in a full-bodied finish.
• Tempranillo 2005:
A very well-balanced wine. Happily, it lacks the sometimes unpleasant heat found in a lot of tempranillos. Bold, fruit and with a lingering finish.
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