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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.

2012 Tempranillo
Santa Ynez Valley

2012 Tempranillo

Technical Details

90% Tempranillo - Clover Creek Vineyard
5% Merlot - Alisos Vineyard
5% Syrah - Alisos Vineyard

Production: 232 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.8%
pH: 3.89
Titratable acidity: 0.51 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Three to five years
Bottle price: $36

Our interest in Tempranillo began during a family vacation to the Rioja and Ribera del Duero wine regions of Spain. Tempranillo is the most widely planted red grape in those regions and is at the core of Spain's finest red wines. Clover Creek Vineyard in Santa Ynez is proving to be an ideal site for this varietal. The fruit from this vineyard produces a rich, flavorful wine with soft tannins. Like many of the Spanish wines, our Tempranillo is aged in 100% American oak barrels.

The grapes were harvested on October 17th with a sugar level of 24.0 Brix. The grapes were entirely destemmed and crushed into our Ganimedes tank, which produces a wine with soft tannins and stronger aromatics than our open-top fermenters. The wine aged in American oak barrels, of which approximately 40% were new. I blended in a small amount of Merlot and Syrah to add some aromatic complexity and structure to the wine. After 20 months of barrel aging, the wine was filtered and bottled in June 2014. 

The wine has a medium-dark ruby color. The aromas are an intriguing mix of fruit, sweet pipe tobacco, herbs and coconut from the American oak barrels. On the palate the wine has a soft, inviting entry with rich flavors of dried red berries, sweet tobacco and coconut. The tannins are soft, and the use of 40% new American oak barrels has contributed to the wine's long sweet finish.

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

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