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July 9, 2010
Tempranillo . . . On The Rise

We know of so many grapes, but there are less-common varietals that just donít get enough press and are worth not only a second look, but deserve to be asked for at eating establishments.

Tempranillo is a perfect example. This grape, dark in color and with a thick skin, is long considered to be the Spanish noble grape. It has all the qualities of one that can be a super star. The wines from this varietal can be consumed early and also ages well. Velvety smooth, aromatic and not overly tannic, yet with great structure and complementing acidity.

From Codorniuís Artesa Winery, which has both the Spanish and California presence, to Diageo-owned Beaulieu Vineyards, this grape is taking hold. EOS Winery in Paso Robles is growing a fantastic Tempranillo as well, and letís not forget Abacela in Oregon. From Lake County, Sonoma, Napa, San Mateo, San Luis Obispo, and other districts, this grape is growing in number.  And  thatís  not
including Oregon and Washington!

Looking at the crush report, from 2007 to 2008, the tonnage nearly doubled from 4,800 tons to 8,600 crushed, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. We expect this trend to continue as consumers discover this lovely grape! So committed are the producers of this varietal, that an organization of producers, Tapas, was created to promote Spanish and Portuguese grapes. Unfortunately, in looking down so many grocery store aisles, big warehouses, and wine shops, it seems that we’re missing the boat on this gem of a grape.

So, to facilitate your ability to put your hands on what we consider to be the next wave of varietal awareness, here are some links of a few to those that produce Tempranillo:

Abacela - OR -
Airfield Estates - WA -
Anna Maria - OR -
Artesa - CA -
Beaulieu Vineyard - CA -
Camaraderie Cellars - WA -
EOS Estates - CA -
Gramercy Cellars - WA -
Parador Cellars - CA -
Reustle Vineyards - OR -
Sawtooth Winery - ID -
Three Rivers Winery - WA -

2007 Tempranillo McCorquodale
2008 Hellcat
2006 Applegate Valley Tempranillo
2006 Reserve Tempranillo Alexander Valley
2007 Maestro Collection Tempranillo
2007 Tempranillo, Cedar Creek (House Red)
2008 Private Reserve Tempranillo
2007 Walla Walla Tempranillo
2006 Tempranillo ĎRancho Chimiles Vineyardí
2007 Tempranillo
2006 Tempranillo
2006 Svelte, 2007 Tempranillo

This is the grape to watch!


Brixage, 26238 Enterprise Court, Lake Forest, CA 92630

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