It’s all in the dirt. That’s essentially what Bokisch Vineyards’ winemaker Elise Perry told us yesterday during a quick conversation about the unique expression of the three Albariños we had just tasted in the Bokisch Vineyards Atkins Road tasting room. Each Albariño is sourced from a different vineyard; two are located in the Lodi AVA and the third is located near Isleton in the Sacramento – San Joaquin Bay Delta. She told us, regardless of the yeast she chooses to facilitate fermentation, each vineyard’s unique expression comes through loud and clear.
2015 Bokisch Vineyards Terra Alta Albariño — very pale yellow in the glass with aromas and flavors of white flowers and tangerines with a hint of citrus pith on the finish. Juicy acidity lingers on the finish.
Fermentation and aging was completed in stainless steel for the 2015 Bokisch Terra Alta Albariño. The Terra Alta Vineyard surrounds the tasting room on Atkins Road and spreads over rolling hills in Lodi’s Clements Hills AVA. The volcanic gravelly clay loam soil has a distinctly reddish color.
2015 Bokisch Vineyards Las Cerezas Albariño — delicate yellow in the glass with delicate aromas and flavors that lead with dusty minerals and citrus backnotes. Bright and fresh with clean acidity; the most restrained of the group.
Fermentation took place in 60% stainless steel and 40% natural oak followed by 6 months of aging in each. The Las Cerezas Vineyard is located not far from the Mokelumne River in the Lodi’s Mokelumne River AVA. Soil near the river is silty, alluvial loam. This is the only Albariño in the group to see any time in neutral oak.
Both the Terra Alta Vineyard and the Las Cerezas Vineyard are farmed organically and sustainably. They are certified organic by CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) and certified green by Lodi Rules™. Two more reasons to love these wines!
2016 Bokisch Vineyards Andrus Island Albariño — light yellow in the glass with generous aromas of tangerine, candied citrus and white flowers. Flavors follow along with rocky minerality. This wine is round in the mouth and the flavors last a very long time.
This wine was released just ahead of the first day of the Lodi Tour of Albariño tasting event yesterday and is the most expressive of the three wines. Fermentation and aging took place in stainless steel. The Andrus Island Vineyard is located in the Delta near the Sacramento River and between the river and the Lodi AVA. The soil is comprised of organic, dark Peat. The weather is a bit cooler in this region due to its location in the Delta.
We couldn’t resist taking a few snaps of the ripening Albariño after asking Elise just where the Albariño was situated. The vines held numerous small, tight clusters characteristic of Albariño and the vines appeared, to my non-viticulturist’s eye, to be heavily-laden with fruit. I’m so looking forward the the 2017 vintage.
This was our first visit to the Bokisch Vineyards Atkins Road tasting room. It is well worth the drive out of Lodi, it really isn’t that far, and the vineyards covering the rolling hills are so beautiful.
The Lodi Tour of Albariño continues today and Sunday with six wineries pouring their Albariños and provides a great opportunity to experience the different expression of the variety in the Lodi AVA. You will find all of the details in the link above.