March 29, 2006

Reds 2004 Lodi Red Wine

About $9 (Laurel Glen Vineyard, Graton, Calif.)

As this week's recipes show, a canny combination of loosely related ingredients can be just as delicious as a carefully planned-out, shopped-for dish.

Wines work that way too, as Reds proves. For Reds, Patrick Campbell raids old, unheralded vineyards and blends them for a lush, delicious red in '04. How can it sell for less than $10? Because Campbell is canny and ignores the idea that nothing good can come of the flat, hot lands of Lodi, between Stockton and Sacramento. He finds vines early Italian settlers planted, like the century-old carignane in this blend, and other heat-hardy varieties like zinfandel and petite sirah. The result is what he calls his "wine for the people," a lush, plummy, spicy wine that will be welcome on any table, any day of the week.

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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