This is our first vintage working with Tempranillo grapes which were supplied by our friends Lloyd and Lois Piercy at Echo West Vineyards. The historic growing region for Tempranillo is Spain where it is known as “Tinto”, “Rioja” or“Ribera del Duero”. There has been a lot of recent success planting this grape in the Pacific Northwest too. Here, the grapes seem to produce a more fruit forward wine which is more approachable at a younger age than the Spanish counterparts. This is a wine paired best with foods and specifically with meats, full flavored and spicy foods which all help to bring out the spectrum of flavors of the wine.
We chose to age the wine in 100% American barrels for a full 2 years to bulk up the structureand tannins as is typical for this grape. Higher end tempranillo wines from Spain are often not released until 5 years from harvest as this is a wine well suited or long aging. A small amount of Malbec was blended to further accentuate the fruit qualities of the wine. The grapes were crushed, destemmed and divided into two small lots for fermentation, eachreceiving a unique yeast inoculation to enhance complexity of the finished wine. Following alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation was induced and the wine musts were allowed an extended maceration of ~4 weeks. The wines were then lightly pressed in ~half ton lots, settled and then moved to barrels. The resulting wine was blended together and aged in 4 French (2 new) and 1 American (new) barrel.
The wine was racked several times during aging which produced a natural clarification. Small scale production methods used to make this wine included: hand sorting of grapes, small fermentation and press batches allowing for individualized wine making decisions per batch and manual approaches to nearly every step in the process including bottling and labeling.