2014 Markus Wine Whites

When wine drinkers see the word Lodi they almost always think of zinfandel first. No surprise, really, given the number of top-notch varietals coming out of that area. What these same aficionados might not realize, and most regular consumers are largely unaware of, is that there are a number of fine white wines coming out of Lodi as well.

Markus Niggli has been the winemaker at Borra Vineyards since 2010. But when he’s not working with owner and grower Steve Borra to put together the 20+ labels they produce each year, he’s busy with his own Markus Wine Co., a “subventure,” as they like to say, of Borra Vineyards. He’s only produced two vintages so far, but if Niggli continues to make wines like the two below, he’s going to get popular in a very short amount time.

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2014 Markus Joey Insieme
Lodi White Wine

“Insieme” is Italian for “together” and represents a blending of wines by two winemakers from America’s east and west coasts. Riesling from North Carolina (Joey Medaloni in Lewisville, NC) plays a supporting role to the dominance of torrontes from Lodi.

Talk about intriguing. The aromas are pronounced, with a wave of green herbs, apples, lemons, and limes, even a whiff of menthol coming at you as soon as the wine is poured. In the mouth it’s bone dry and crisp, with mouth-watering acids and a cooling, light body. The flavors match up with the aromas, almost one-for-one, and the finish is long and lingering, with a hint of flint along for the ride.

Given the complex flavors, the bright acid, and the crisp mouth-feel, “Insieme” is a versatile wine and should pair well with everything from light salads and pastas to a variety of chicken and white meat entreés.

95% Torrontes (Silvaspoons Vineyards, CA), 5% Riesling (Cain Vineyards, NC); 12.8% abv
65 cases produced
$18.99 SRP

**Sample from winery

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2014 Markus Nativo
Lodi White Wine

Kerner is widely planted in Germany, where it produces a riesling-like grape ideal for blending or varietal bottling. It’s a grape that thrives in a variety of terrains and can be rather prodigious in its yield. But, away from Germany, plantings of this grape around the world are sparse. In California, it can be found in only one place, Mokelumne Glen Vineyards in Lodi, a cool site where most of the grapes for this wine come from.

On the nose, you pick up aromas of wet stones, petrol, apples and pears, along with a hint of salinity and yeast. In the mouth, it’s off-dry with flavors of stone fruit and candied lemon. This wine has delightful texture, a mouth-coating sleekness, and a finish that is light but long.

“Nativo” is a versatile wine, and will be fine as an aperitif as well as an accompaniment to salads and pastas, as well as seafood or light poultry.

75% Kerner, 19% Riesling, 6% Bacchus; 13.1% abv
120 cases produced
$18.99 SRP
**Sample from winery

— featured image courtesy of Borra Vineyards

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