LETTERS FROM LODI
JULY 6, 2023 | RANDY CAPAROSO
From the beginning, just walking through the vines in Bechthold has always been like feeling a presence, like sitting under an ancient oak tree on a quiet, lonely night. It's a privilege to receive the few bins from this vineyard that we get each year. During the weeks building up to the harvest, we look forward to being present as the grapes are picked in the early hours of the morning.
The Bechthold Cinsault has been a small but ever-present component of Lorenza Rosé since 2009. But when our bins arrived in 2021, we made a decision to do something we had never done before, but long desired—to make a red wine. It was like experiencing this vineyard through a totally new lens.
Let it be said that red wines from Bechthold Vineyard have been made by some of California's—and Lodi's—most prestigious vintners. Yet it is not a stretch to say that Lorenza's iteration is a radical departure from that of the rest of that ballyhooed pack.
First of all, Kearney and her daughter originally meant to produce a rosé, not a red wine, from their 2021 harvest. This means the grapes were picked at a lower Brix (i.e., sugar reading) and pH (translating into higher natural acidity). The result is a resoundingly light style of red wine, just 11% in alcohol (most Bechthold reds hover closer to 13% or 14%); one that is so pale and nearly transparent in color that it looks, in fact, more like a deep colored rosé than a red. Yet it has all the intensity of red wine—soaring raspberry/cherry perfume and deep, pervasive kitchen spice (cardamom, mace, clove, a twist of peppercorn) in the nose—while veering into still another dimension on the palate.
Namely, a distinct sense of airiness—mercifully free of extraneous burdens, like bitter oakiness or violent alcohol—infused by a level of acidity that turns the spiced red berry fruit profile into more of a ringing, visceral, mineral-like sensation (think of whistling, scented winds whipping your face on a moonlit sandy beach).
Excerpted, full article can be found HERE.