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Alicante Bouschet, a thick-skinned grape, on the chopping block for some Lodi vintners

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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 12:00 am

One of the Lodi AVA's most venerated plantings — Mohr-Fry Ranches' 12 1/2 of Alicante Bouschet, which originally went into the ground in 1921 — may not be long for this world, which would be a tragedy.

Especially when you taste the recently released 2009 Harmony Wynelands Lodi Alicante Bouschet ($30), sourced completely from Mohr-Fry Ranches. The '09 was this winery's third vintage to win a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and for very good reason: It's a vividly dark red, solid as a Chevy truck, plush and beefy, with a beautiful raiment of aromas suggesting boysenberry, sun dried black cherry, and the little bits of char from the toothsome, caramelized tips of beef ribs when soaked in an exotically sweet soy marinade and grilled.

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