A Visit to Peltier

It was hazy on a late Saturday morning when Steph and Gordon headed out to investigate Peltier Winery and Vineyards. Peltier is a fairly large scale looking operation at the southeast corner of Peltier and Kenneflick Roads. We have driven by many times in the past, but have never ventured in. Today we would be bold

The property was purchased by the owners, Rodney and Gayla Schatz in 1985. Rodney is a third generation grower. They transformed from growers to winery owners in 2001, when the winery was built. For several years they produced primarily custom crush and bulk wines, eventually moving to producing wines for their own label. Their beautiful tasting room opened in 2015.

Peltier’s winemaker Susana Rodriguez Vasques hails from Bolivia. After obtaining a degree in Agricultural Sciences, she made the move to winemaking in the US through an internship at Cal Poly, working with Gallo and Constellation, and obtaining UC Davis Winemaking certification. She has been with Peltier since 2016.

We were guided through their current offerings by Kevin, who was a charming and gracious host. Here is a sample of the wines we tasted:

2017 Black Diamond Vermentino $18 – Fairly light gold color. Melon, white peach and apple nose. Palate has medium acid, lots of citrus and green apple. Finish had a slightly bitter green apple skin character. Good minerality. This would be a great seafood wine. Good plus.

2017 Black Diamond Sauvignon Blanc $18 – Slightly green tinge to the light straw color. Herbal, slightly grassy and white pepper nose. Palate has medium acid, green plum fruit attack with a zippy lime mid palate and a grapefruity, slightly bitter finish. This wine is very perky, in the New Zealand style. Good.

2017 Oaked Chardonnay $19 – Close to medium gold color. Baked apple and vanilla nose, slightly floral. Low to low medium acid with a rich apple attack with brown sugar toasty notes. Bit of heft in the mid palate, but not heavily oaked. Nice balance with a spicy slightly cinnamon finish. Good plus for fans of the style.

2015 Pinot Noir $20 – Medium ruby color. Cherry and subtly smoky nose. Low to low medium acid, low plus tannins, and a blend of cherry and strawberry fruit on the attack. Fairly round mouthfeel, spicy finish. The grapes are from an area in the northern Lodi appellation west of Elk Grove, closer to the Delta. This wine is a bit of an eye opener. Lodi Pinot Noirs are few and far between, and often not very Pinot-like. This one is actually a pretty good example of the varietal, and definitely worth a try if you’re a Pinot fan. Good to very good.

2016 Old Vine Zinfandel $28 – Dark ruby color. Ripe red fruit, and herbal vanilla hints on the nose. Low plus acid, low medium tannins, with a dark berry fruit attack. Not quite blackberry, but close. Long slightly jammy berry notes and spice on the finish. This wine is nicely balanced, and hides the 15.5% alcohol well. Very good.

2010 Reserve Teroldego $45 – This wine spent 36 months in oak. Inky color. Nose has hints of menthol, anise, ripe berry fruit and dry herbs. Low to low medium acid, and close to medium tannins. The palate has dark berry fruit, with a dry dusty leathery finish. An intriguing wine that we recommend pairing with some tasty protein and fat to balance the structure. Good.

USB Syrah “Port Style $25 – This dessert wine is non vintage, and fortified with grape spirits. Nose had dusty cocoa, with brandy alcohol notes. Palate is dark berry and chocolate, with a dark raisiny sweetness. This wine was good plus by itself, but paired with semi-sweet chocolate it was outstanding. Would be a great accompaniment to a flourless semi-sweet chocolate cake, or rich brownie, or Lava cakes, or ………. well, pretty much anything with dark chocolate.

Overall, this winery has some pleasant surprises. We highly recommend you drop in for a visit. They are open daily, 11 am to 5 pm.