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My winemaking philosophy which I developed early on in my career is based on the concept that wine is a natural food. As such, the ultimate enjoyment of wine is as a graceful and harmonious accompaniment to a meal, whether it be simple or sublime.

While most of my wines are enjoyable by themselves, it is with food that they really shine, and reveal all of their nuances and textures. To me the best wines have the ability to bring out the best in the food they are paired with and conversely the food brings out the best in the wines.

2011 Tempranillo
Santa Ynez Valley

2011 Tempranillo

Technical Details

Composition:
91% Tempranillo (81% Clover Creek Vineyard; 10% Estelle Vineyard)
5% Syrah - Clover Creek Vineyard
4% Merlot - Alisos Vineyard

Production: 240 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.9%
pH: 3.82
Titratable acidity: 0.55 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Four to six years
Bottle price: $36

It is rewarding when we hear wine critics consider recent vintages of our Tempranillo to be some of the best examples of New World Tempranillo.

The grapes from Estelle Vineyard were harvested on September 16th with a sugar level of 24 Brix. Because of the cooler climate and heavier crop load, the grapes at Clover Creek Vineyard were harvested on October 28th with the same level of sugar. The Estelle lot was destemmed and crushed into a small open top fermenter, while the Clover Creek lot was destemmed and crushed into our Ganimedes tank. This Italian fermentation tank produces a wine that is more aromatic with a softer texture than wine fermented in small open top tanks. After fermentation the wines were pressed off, settled and racked to oak barrels to age for 21 months. I used 100% American oak barrels, of which 45% were new.

The wine has a medium dark ruby color. The aromas are a complex mix of red berries, sweet tobacco, spices and a hint of coconut. On the palate the wine is medium bodied, with flavors of dried cherries and a hint of vanillin from the American oak. The oak also gives the wine a sweet, toasty and slightly dry finish.

Our experience has shown that our Tempranillo is extremely versatile when it comes to pairing with food. Enjoy with grilled meats and hearty stews, and try it with mild cheeses, salads with arugula and goat cheese, and butternut squash ravioli.

View WIne Notes
 

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