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© 1998 JDM Enterprises
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Vineyard Named For Soil

by Jerry D. Mead

You may be familiar with the vineyard and winery named Lockwood. It's a top medal winner and has been around for more than a little while, but few people realize it isn't named after "Joe Lockwood," but rather for a rocky soil ideal for grapegrowing called "Lockwood shaly loam." Lockwood is a nearly 2000 acre vineyard in Monterey selling grapes to famous wineries all over the state (yes, some of those famous ones in Napa and Sonoma). They keep just a small percentage of the grapes they grow for their own wines, and of course they're going to tell us they keep the very best for themselves.

We will give the folks who own Lockwood credit for one bit of wisdom. After a number of years of award-winning effort, instead of just giving winemaker Steve Pessagno a raise, they married him to the winery...they made him a partner. Ownership being a big time motivator, the wines may get even better than they currently are.

At Lockwood, all wines are "Estate" wines. They grow all their own fruit, buy no grapes from other growers, nor any bulk wines.

Lockwood also makes a line of "Partner's Reserve" wines which are usually worth the extra bucks. "Reserve" doesn't always mean older at Lockwood, but it almost always means added intensity from select vineyard lots, better cooperage and extended wood aging.

Lockwood 1997 Sauvignon Blanc ($10.50) Tart-sweet grapefruit, lemon-grass and a little new mown hay. Very crisp, pleasantly tart finish. A wine to hold up to oysters or clams on the half-shell. Rating: 87/86

Lockwood 1996 Pinot Blanc ($13.50) Melon fruit with earthy-flinty notes. Leaner and more taut than Chardonnay and also much more food compatible that most Chardonnays. A delicious white wine with an elegant structure and mouthfeel. Rating: 92/86

Lockwood 1996 Chardonnay ($16) Straightforward fruit style, with melon and tropical flavors. Too subtle an oak presence, even though barrel-fermented. Rating: 86/82

Lockwood 1995 "Reserve" Chardonnay ($21.50) Riper, richer style with a bigger, bolder oak statement. Roasty, toasty, slightly smoky barrel char aromas and flavors on top of mostly tropical fruit...heavy on the guava and papaya. Rating: 89/84

Lockwood 1996 Sangiovese ($16) Mostly plum with some black cherry fruit. Flavor intensifies throughout the taste experience. It has long after-flavors and Merlot drinkers will enjoy it for its accessibility and absence of harsh tannins. Rating: 88/84

Lockwood 1995 Merlot ($18) A really big mouthful of wine for a Merlot. Mostly black cherry flavors. Soft enough for beginners; bold enough for the connoisseur crowd. Rating: 88/84

Lockwood 1995 "Reserve" Merlot ($25) Very similar in style and taste to the "Estate" version, but with more concentration, intensity and wood too. Rating: 92/84

Lockwood 1995 Syrah ($15) Winemaker Pessagno gets plum and cherry fruit flavors. I get more berry notes. We both pick up peppery spice in the background. It's blended to 5 percent Cabernet Franc and is another contender in the Lockwood red wine stable. Rating: 88/86

Lockwood 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16) Very pleasant, though it smells and tastes very young for a '95. Black currant flavors dominate with some black cherry undertones. Nicely wooded. Rating: 89/84


Lockwood 1995 "Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.50) Huge wine! Juicy, intense, concentrated. Very youthful, but a real cellar-worthy keeper. It's at least a ten year wine and will probably improve for twenty. More cassis and black cherry, plus blackberry and a little bittersweet chocolate. Rating: 94/87


Cambiaso 1996 Pinot Noir/Red Burgundy Wine ($10) This wine is so reasonably priced because it is the victim of one the most disastrous marketing concepts I've ever seen. What we have here is a resurrected California wine brand (that was never very successful) that sounds Italian. On the front it is labeled Pinot Noir as if it were a California wine. But what's in the bottle, and what it says on the back label, is Red Burgundy Wine (French Burgundy is made from Pinot Noir). Here's Catch. The Cambiaso name won't sell the wine to anyone. California Pinot drinkers are suspicious of low priced versions because they tend to be wimpy and weak, but might try it if they knew it was genuine Burgundy. The Francophiles would never consider drinking a $10 Burgundy, because they think Burgundy has to cost $30 or more. And no one can tell what the hell it is because of the confusing way it's labeled. That means we get to "steal" a really good red with very rich black cherry flavors and undertones of earthy complexity. It's a serious mouthful of Pinot Noir from France for a little bit of money. Call my office at (800) 845-9463 or E-mail at: if you have trouble finding it. I'll put you in touch with the producer/importer. It's not a great wine...but it's a great gulper and a tremendous value. Rating: 86/95


More than one winery has come up with a screen saver to be used by wine loving computer users, but none have been quite so clever as the screen saver offered by Dry Creek Vineyard.

It is not simply a screen saver, but a rotating series of pictures that will run perpetually across your screen, showing a variety of winery and vineyards scenes. It can be downloaded for free at:

Sorry, it only plays on Windows 95 or 98. No Apples.

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Wines are scored using a unique 100 point system. First number rates quality; second number rates value.

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