TAPAS Tempranillo Day 2012 – Tasting New World Tempranillos from Texas, California and Oregon
According to TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society) it is officially Tempranillo Day – Thursday, November 8, 2012.
I’m looking at and about to taste five Tempranillos. But, there are not from Rioja or even Spain.
All are from the new world and that is to say that they are quite far afield from the Tempranillian home turf of the Iberian Peninsula. They come from across the pond: Texas (Texas High Plains and Hill Country), California (Caleveras County) and Oregon. These are exciting new wines and after my tasting, I can certainly say that Texas, California and yes, even Oregon can make some pretty darn good Tempranillo wine.
CapRock Winery Tempranillo – Texas High Plains 2010 ($11-14) – Garnet with medium body, fresh red fruit aroma and flavor, and moderately oaked having a crisp cranberry finish. Good sipping red, easy and refreshing on the palate. 12.5% Alcohol.
Fall Creek Vineyards Salt Lick Vineyard – Texas Hill Country 2010 ($30) – Garnet with medium body, ripe red fruit characteristics, medium plus oak yielding leading to a mocha mid-palate and a steely, lead pencil finish. Needs food (grilled meats) – If you know the Salt Lick, you won’t wonder why. 13.5% Alcohol.
Alamosa Wine Cellars El Guapo (Tempranillo blend with 20% Graciano, 5% Garnacha) – Texas Hill Country 2010 ($15) – Medium plus body with red plum fruit aroma and flavor carrying smoky pipe tobacco and graphitic qualities and a bit of burnt fat near the finish. This wine will pair well with Iberian ham and high fat content sausages. 13.4% Alcohol.
Twisted Oak Winery “The Spaniard” (Tempranillo blend with 12% Graciano, 4% Garnacha) – Calaveras County California 2009 ($49) – Red-black color, very ripe black cherry fruit aromas and flavors with smoky nuances, heady in the glass, but still pleasantly so. Stiff tannins needs medium rare beef. 14.5% Alcohol.
Abacela Reserve Tempranillo – Umpqua Valley Oregon 2007 (was $40+ but sold out). Purple-black color, a mélange of red and black fruits on the nose and palate with cherry and plums and a hint of caramel and a hard spot of graphite at the end. Dominant fruit helps this wine sip well, but this wine will do nicely with a braised lamb shank, thank you very much. 14.6% Alcohol.
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I’m going to be doing some additional tasting of these wines from 7:30 to 9:00 pm Central tonight and will post the comments on Twitter at: http://tweetchat.com/room/TempranilloDay. Join me for more fun.
Also, next Tuesday November 13th is #TXwine Twitter Tuesday and we will have a grand tasting dedicated to a full line of Texas Tempranillos (more than 10 in all) from 7 to 9 pm Central. You can join us at: http://tweetchat.com/room/TXwine. More details on this online tasting event are at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=6783.Join in and find out why Tempranillo has become the National Grape of Texas!