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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.

2006 Tempranillo
Clover Creek Vineyard - Santa Ynez Valley

2006 Tempranillo

Technical Details

94% Tempranillo – Clover Creek Vineyard
3% Malbec – Barnwood Vineyard
2% Syrah – Alisos Vineyard
1% Cabernet Sauvignon – Estelle Vineyard

Production: 255 cases
Alcohol by volume: 15.6%
pH: 3.83
Titratable acidity: .59 g/100 ml.
Cellaring potential: 3-5 years
Bottle price: $40.00

As in 2005, the Tempranillo grapes at Clover Creek Vineyard enjoyed a long maturation period with the grapes being harvested on October 30th at a very ripe 26.5 Brix. We fermented grapes in small open top fermenters and conducted a relatively short fermentation of eight days. The wine was pressed off, settled and racked to 100% American oak barrels of which 35% were new.

The wine has dark ruby/purple color. The aromas are a mixture of ripe black currants, blackberries and vanillin. The wine's texture on the palate is rich, velvety and smooth with very little tannin. The flavors of blackberries and raspberries are rich and jammy. The American oak is well integrated with the flavors yet provides a moderate amount of toasted oak on the finish.

This 2006 Tempranillo may even exceed the blockbuster 2005 bottling. Though the alcohol is definitely on the high side, there seems to be abundant flavor and rich texture to balance it so that it does not seem hot.

A nice accompaniment with this wine would be beef bourguignon or tender pork with Mexican mole sauce.

Rick Longoria, Winemaker
November, 2008

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