The Fallen Bridge Lodi Zinfandel 2017 is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive. That is about all the information available for this Zin. The company that made the wine, Sonoma Bespoke, is a custom private-label winery. They make wines for stores and restaurants across the country. If you are in a 7/11 and see Vin Seven, that’s them.
This is a single AVA Zinfandel from Lodi in the Central Valley, which is my favorite place to find Zinfandel wines. Some of the top-name producers are from Sonoma or the Central Coast, but I think Lodi gets the job down and the price is usually right.
This might be silly, but I must address the label. The wine is named Fallen Bridge, but the artwork shows someone with an umbrella on their head falling off a bridge. The bridge seems to be a railroad bridge, there is a train in the distance, but below the train is a sailboat. The label looks interesting at first glance, but upon inspection makes absolutely no sense.
Since there is no information released on the making of this wine, what can we figure out from the bottle? They do not mention “old vines” which is rare these days for a Lodi Zinfandel. There is no legal definition for “old vines” and Lodi has a bunch of 40-year-old plus vineyards so they come by old vines rather easily.
This is a 2017 vintage which with a Red wine can indicate a more extensive production process. More grape extraction, more tannins, more acidity, and a longer oak aging process. More complicated production techniques cause the wine to take more time to come together.
But, since this is a $6.99 Trader Joe’s wine it could be a wine that was ready to go sometime in 2018 but was leftover for some reason. It is common for wineries to produce more wine than they need and to sell off the excess for added profit. The alcohol content is a stout 15%.
Fallen Bridge Lodi Zinfandel 2017 Tasting Notes
The color is dark black cherry red. The nose is interesting, by just the aroma I would guess that this is a wine with a more detailed winemaking process. There is sweet cherry, the scent of BBQ pork slow-cooking, spice, cinnamon, RC Cola, and sugar cookies baking in an oven. This wine has a terrific nose or I am really hungry.
This Zinfandel has a nice rounded mouthfeel that is balanced by some sharp spice. It starts with ripe cherry, black coffee, dark chocolate, Altoids spice, and plum. The mid-palate is fairly quiet compared to the body of the wine, but there is some raspberry and orange zest added in. The Tannins are sweet and smooth and the acidity is balanced.
- The Fallen Bridge is a pretty good drink-it-now, everyday Zinfandel. It drinks way above its price tag.