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Jenise

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WTN: Tempranillo Tantrum

by Jenise » Thu May 25, 2017 3:08 pm

Last Friday I served 86 tasters the following six tempranillos, three American and three Spanish. This was pretty illuminating for me as I have paid about zero attention to new world tempranillos as the few I have had were nothing particularly special, including the one in the Hearst Ranch tasting room near Paso Robles a few weeks ago.

Such were the quality of these that I'm going to look at this grape differently from here on out. Opening all the bottles at home before the tasting, and sipping at them over about six hours, it was actually remarkable to me that none really jumped off the counter as specific to its origins. Yeah, there was a bit of oak showing initially on the Pomum, but that happens in Spain too, and the Silbon might have garnered my vote for Most Likely to be Spanish, but it's absolutely true that I wouldn't have bet my cat's dinner on it. And the crowd votes back that up--this group is VERY decidedly pro-New World, but they liked one of the Spanish wines equally well as one of the Americans.

And the stand-out came from Idaho.

2012 Pomum Cellars Tempranillo Tinto Yakima Valley
Outstanding new world tempranillo with ample class, concentration and spicey complexity. An eye-opener for what's possible with this grape in Washington state.

2012 Bodegas Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza Tempranillo
Nicely resolved, mouth filling, and doesn't act like a $10 wine in the company of $30 wines. Exceptional value.

2010 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Viña Real Reserva Tempranillo
This wine showed softest of the lot and as a result was among the least popular at the tasting, but leftover bottles tasted over the next few days put on weight and grip. These will do some serious evolving over the next ten years.

2015 Quinta Esencia Silbon Spain Tinta de Toro, Tempranillo
A very substantial "old school" style wine with balanced black fruit and spice. Good tone, lively in the mouth and a crowd pleaser. Tied for 1st place with the Straight Line. Great QPR at $17 locally.

2014 Cinder Tempranillo Snake River Valley
Surprising wine. Jasmine and Vietnamese cinnamon on the nose, orange peel and spice on the palate. Super complex and seductive. More Rioja-ish than the Riojas and driest of the six wines. Honestly, this is the best North American tempranillo I've ever had.

2013 Straight Line Tempranillo St. Helena
Not much tempranillo spice, drinks more like a cabernet--but that said it drinks well indeed. Tied for first place with the group.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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