12 May 2014

Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards

In honor of Mother's Day, how about a look at a winemaker who is also a mom? During my recent trip to Lodi, we had a stop almost in the exact middle of the week at Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards.

I got some messages from friends and colleagues while I was out there along the lines of, "Hope you can make it through all that old vine Zinfandel." Lodi is certainly famous for those old vines, deep reds, and of course the powerhouse standard grapes that go into California table wines bottled elsewhere. But there is a lot more to the story of this region, and Acquiesce is a great example. Susan Tipton had a transformative experience with a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape over a decade ago and was determined to make great Rhône-style white wines in Lodi. On top of that, she's continuing to swap out patches of Zinfandel and other grapes that are currently making money in order to graft on more white vines that won't show a profit for years to come. It's a story that I heard over and over again in the region, and one that speaks to the passion that these folks have about making quality wine.

We tried five wines with Tipton, and she presented little appetizers to go along with each one. My favorite was the Dubliner cheese topped with jasmine confit, perhaps the fanciest jelly you'll ever consume. All were served on their own individual amuse-bouche bowls or spoons, and the craftiness and attention to style can be seen throughout the tasting room with wind chimes made from wine bottles and homemade candle holders. (Speaking of the bottles, the unique shape is imported from France. That style is perhaps best known for the Sofia Coppola wines, but that glass comes from China these days.)

These wines can be purchased through the winery website.

2013 Acquiesce Picpoul Blanc
$22

There are only about 10 acres of Picpoul Blanc planted in the United States, and Tipton farms 100 vines of them. It's a fascinating grape with hints of lime curd and floral notes. A light, delicate body with a crisp and quick finish. The current vintage is, unfortunately, sold out, but keep an eye out for this one in the future.

2013 Acquiesce Grenache Blanc
$22

A little firmer body with hints of musk and honeysuckle accompanied by a tart acidity. Excellent with the goat cheese and Meyer lemon zest, and a great roast chicken wine.

2013 Acquiesce Belle Blanc
$26

A combination of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Viognier. Outstanding in the balance of the various elements. The nose is floral and herbal while the acidity is just perfect. It is bright and delightful and manages to capture summer in a glass. Highly recommended.

2013 Acquiesce Viognier
$23

I love a good Viognier, and this one did not disappoint. Aromas of grass and lemon, with a tart and refreshing flavor. I've always thought that this grape is a nice introduction to the earthier elements in white grapes before getting down into the funky, barnyard characteristics. Would be delicious with a cold pasta salad.

2013 Acquiesce Grenache Rosé
$20

The one non-white offering at Acquiesce is still true to the style of Southern France, and we had some amazing dry rosés while we were out there. This Grenache version shows bright notes of strawberry and watermelon with a nicely tart finish. Throw this in a bucket of ice and enjoy it beside the pool with a good book.

Note: This trip was sponsored by Lodi Wine and Snooth.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are wine club members there. Sue and crew are wonderful people! We can't get enough of her wines! Acquiesce is perhaps the best whites we've ever had. Not to mention the Rose. Everyone need to have the experience of Acquiesce at least once. You'll be hooked. I guarantee it..

David and Brian.

Ben Carter said...

David & Brian,

Glad you gents enjoy it. I certainly had a good time there, and hope that visitors to Lodi make it a priority. Cool crisp Rhône whites are perfect this time of year, and I never say no to a good rosé.

Cheers,
Benito