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“Tasting Spain in California”
Lodi Tempranillo
I had a wonderful opportunity to taste through several tempranillo’s from Lodi, CA, earlier in November, to celebrate International Tempranillo Day, which was November 13th. If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know I am personally a big fan of Lodi wines and the tempranillo’s being made in this region only heighten the love for the region. The Tempranillo grape is the most widely-planted red wine grape in Spain and though it may not be as widely planted in Lodi, it has caught on something fierce. The grape thrives in the region’s climate and Lodi winemakers are taking advantage of this to produce some amazing wines. This spanish varietal has most often been used in blends, especially in California, so do not let it scare you away that many of these Lodi tempranillo’s are 100% Tempranillo and 100% amazing! The talent behind the wines is solid and wonderful results have come from the fruits of their labor. Make sure to go online and look for these wonderful tempranillo’s from Lodi. Most of the wineries sell direct and you can also buy through the Lodi Visitors Center. Keep in mind these wines sell out fast, as they not only taste great, but are small, limited case productions. The tasting notes below are only a mere sampling of Lodi Tempranillo wines, so please venture out there and order a sip and take a trip!

RIAZA WINES 2012 TEMPRANILLLO
www.riazawines.com
$26.00 / bottle
Riaza Wine TempranilloThis tempranillo is lighter than some in color and texture, but don’t be fooled – it is full of flavor! A wonderful, dry, rainier cherry with bright tart acidity and as it opens up (a bit of breathing is needed to make this tempranillo shine) notes of tobacco become expressive and it finishes nicely with soft tannins. Turned out to be one of my favorites in this tasting.
FIVE BOTTLE RATING

 

BOKISCH VINEYARDS 2012 TEMPRANILLO
www.bokischvineyards.com
$23.00 / bottle
M2 Wines TempranilloThe Bokisch tempranillo is classic Rioja, through and through. Dark berry fruit that is luscious and light yet full of flavor and complexity. Baseball glove leather and cigar box notes finish it off with a slight spice of white pepper. Juicy in the mouth and excellent with smoked or grilled meats. A must try.
FOUR BOTTLE RATING

 

HARNEY LANE WINERY 2010 TEMPRANILLO
www.harneylane.com
$25.00 / bottle
Harney Lane Tempranillo

As many of Harney Lane’s wines are, this tempranillo is elegant and complex. Ruby red with notes of red and black plums, slight spice and a fresh tobacco leaf. A very “masculine” wine with firm tannic structure and a tad of mineral rock on the finish. This was the only 2010 we tasted in the group and it’s not only aged well, but has potential for further aging. A great wine to sip with cheese or share in a meal of grilled sausages.
FIVE BOTTLE RATING

 

McCAY CELLARS 2012 TEMPRANILLO “LOT 13 VINEYARD”
www.mccaycellars.com
$28.00 / bottle
McCay Cellars TempranilloMcCay Cellars has a little bit of “Spain” in their Lot 13 2012 tempranillo. Juicy with acidity and perfumy to the nose. Bright cherries and dark brambly berries unite. A little spice and a lingering finish make this tempranillo a really great drinking wine w/ a cheese platter, after it decants.
FOUR BOTTLE RATING

 

m2 WINES 2012 TORMENTA TEMPRANILLA
www.m2wines.com
$22.00 / bottle
m2 Wines Tempranillom2 Wines is quite the up and coming winery in Lodi and this Tormenta tempranillo is going to excite your palate! Fruity and full of dark, black plums with a touch of oak and vanilla. Very feminin and lovely with a silky, long finish that will have you humming and sipping it to the last drop.
FIVE BOTTLE RATING

 

** Samples received courtesy of Lodi Wines and Charles Communications **

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