OK, these notes are a bit, uh, tardy. But better late then never, right? Right? Maybe……?
M2 has a (relatively) new tasting room on Peltier Road with a super sharp industrial design that incorporates the outside to the inside. Warm wood finishings complement the sleek metal and glass. Steph and Gord visited last November to taste the wines and visit with winemaker Layne Montgomery. As Layne noted, M2 produces small lot, artisanal wines that express the character of the vineyards. Their 3,800 annual case production is focused on zinfandel and Rhone varietals. Most vineyards are hand harvested, and often harvested twice to capture a balance of acidity and ripe fruit. Their wines are cellar worthy but can be enjoyed now. M2 opened to the public in 2006, with a production facility and tasting room in north east Lodi, and moved to their new swanky location in 2014.
Layne himself is a former broadcaster / media type turned winemaker. In his own words, he is “intelligent, accessible, and slightly outspoken”. We agree that he is all that and more. He was gracious with his time, introduced us to the wines that are currently available, and surprised us with an impromptu tasting in the barrel room.
Amongst our favorites were:
2015 Viognier $20 – peach, melon and floral notes on the nose. Low to moderate acidity. Apple and peach fruit, with more floral notes and a mineral citrus finish. Good plus.
2013 emtwopointone $28 – Lodi zinfandel. Spicy, floral, and dark bramble on the nose. Attack of red cherry and bramble fruit, with balanced acid and tannin structure. Hints of spice and smoked leather, with mocha notes appearing on a medium length finish. Good to very good.
2014 Old Vine Zinfandel $28 – from the Soucie Vineyard in Lodi. Dark plum and toasty oak on the nose. Dark bramble fruit with tart zesty acidity, and “muzzled” tannins (meaning that they were not barking). Berry and spice notes on finish. Good to very good.
2015 Clockstopper’s Red Blend $26 – blend of syrah, zinfandel, carignan, petite sirah and tempranillo from Lodi and Amador vineyards. This wine was almost sold out when we were there in November, and is now entirely sold out. But we are including it because we really liked it. Dark fruit, plum and spice on the nose. Dark plum attack, with a leathery note appearing in mid palate accompanied by drying tannins. Finish is medium long, with a spicy sweet raisin note. Gord says “I really like this wine!”. Very good. Get in line for the 2016.
2014 Duality Red Blend $26 – blend of syrah and petit sirah from Amador. Nose is fairly effusive, with notes of dark plum and dried herbs. Sweet chewy dark plum fruit at the onset, with red plummy fruit appearing on the mid palate. Good.
2014 Syrah $45 – Amador fruit co-fermented with a hint of viognier, as is often done in the Rhone. Plum, dried herbs, black pepper, earthy notes and hints of anise on the nose. Dark cherry, plum and chocolate flavors with a plush mouth feel. Drying tannins appear on the moderately long finish. Good to very good.
We highly recommend a visit to M2. We really enjoyed their wines, and we bet you’ll like ’em too.