Red Blend, 2019. Owl Block

Red Blend, 2019. Owl Block

Item #: V0322R1
Vintage: 2019
Varietal: Red Blend
Vineyard/Appellation: California
Color: Medium Ruby
Nose: Strawberry
Palate: Spice, Earth
Finish: Medium to Full
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2023/Red Meat, Game, Fowl/14.5% Alcohol by Volume

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Owl Block comes to us from one of the founding fathers of Lodi. The family settled there in 1835 and became one of the leading farmers in the area. Wine didn't enter the picture until 1921 when Herman Ehlers' first job was with the National Fruit Product Company. Grapes were one of those fruits, but very little wine was made because of Prohibition. When Prohibition ended, the name was changed to the Shewan-Jones winery and Herman was their first winemaker.

By 1951 California was becoming known as a wine producer and Herman's son, Walter, was now running the winery. He had a cozy feeling that wine was going to become a growing business here. Investing heavily, but wisely, Walter was soon in charge of 4,000 acres either in partnerships or outright ownership. They continued to be the standard bearers for Lodi, planting Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. They also did famously well with grapes that were thought to be unsuitable for Lodi, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Verdelho. Ehlers proved them all wrong.

Our blend is classic Ehlers. It features Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel in a dizzying array of flavors and textures. The Zinfandel especially stands out as it is the founding grape of Lodi. The brambleberry and strawberry essences literally scream its name. The blast of fruit mixed with saddle leather, spice, and earth would enhance any dish from a carnitas taco to fried chicken or a thin crust pizza featuring pepperoni, sausage, cheese, and caramelized shallots.

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