A Party Temprañillo

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Gallo Family Wines

I’ve had Martin Codax wines before. In fact, I used to frequently purchase the Albariño, finding it to be a good deal for what you got in the bottle. The same can be said for the Temprañillo, especially at the $10 price tag I see if for online. It’s reliable, pleasing, and a great bargain mid-week wine or for a party if you’re looking to find something that your guests will enjoy for a reasonable price point. The 2006 Martin Codax Ergo Tempranillo had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and went well with our beef stroganoff.

On the nose I found spice, oak, cedar, black fruit, black cherry, and plum.  In the mouth I found more black cherry and plum, spice, cedar, and some black pepper notes. This wine is fruit driven, with the other notes being secondary to the dominating black fruits. It has mild tannins on the finish making it easy to drink and enjoy alone or with a good burger.





Light and Bright

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the folks at Pasternak Imports.

As I mentioned, we’re finally easing out of the DC spummall and into (slightly) cooler temperatures.  And the humidity is gone, at last. So that means red wine! But I’m looking at the gateway red wines (ha), of the lighter variety before settling into my Zins and Petite Sirahs for the winter. A Tempranillo seemed to fit the bill, so I pulled out the 2008 Terracita Tempranillo from Spain. It had a plastic cork closure, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $9.

On the nose I found lots of bright fruit. Blackberry, black cherry, and black plum, with some red edges, spice, and baking spice.  In the mouth I got cherry, plum, spice, cedar, fresh cherry, black cherry, very tart cherry, and more cherry.  Along with great acidity, this wine provided exactly the bright, light red I was looking for this evening, and at only $9 to boot.

Soft Tempranillo

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks representing this brand.

Tonight we pulled the 2006 Campo Viejo Crianza Tempranillo from the racks. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and I see it retails for about $9. I served this with leftover lamb pie and was desperately glad I did so. I found it a lot better with the lamb than without, but overall, I wasn’t a big fan.

On the nose I got herbs, spice, strawberry, blackberry, perfumed wood, oak, and cherry. I thought it smelled sweet. In the mouth I found soft berries, mostly blackberries, slight red edges, and soft tannins. The sweet note I found on the nose followed through in the mouth. It tasted candied. This wine just didn’t hold up for me. NMS.

HBG Meetup!

Patrick kindly organized a happy hour while we were visiting for our first night in town at the Healdsburg Bar and Grill. This made me extremely happy as I still couldn’t get their truffle oil parmesan cheese fries off my mind. So GOOD.  Matt and I ate two baskets and I got to have the very adult mac and cheese.  I love mac and cheese very much and never miss a chance to have it….as I seem to be incapable of making it myself for some reason.

Over the course of the evening, quite a crowd came by to say hello and socialize for a bit.  We saw Patrick, Genevieve, Penny, Chris, Jeremy, Shana, Robert, and others.  Penny and Chris both brought wines to try (yay!) which I happily did.

From Penny, barrel samples of her newest Tempranillos….she’s going to make two for 2008!

2008 Coral Mustang Vista Creek Tempranillo: Dark, berries, vanilla, spice, jam, plum, currants, grat dark fruit. Looks to be a good one, though it clearly won’t be released for a little while!

2008 Coral Mustang Tres Palmeras Tempranillo: I slightly preferred this one.  It was lighter in color and flavor.  I found spice, red currants, red fruit, cedar, nice structure, nice acidity, raspberries.  This one will make a fabulous food wine.

Chris brought along a bottle from a new line they will be releasing that will retail for around $14-$15.

2007 Healdsburg Ranches Cabernet Sauvignon.  Screw cap, Sonoma County, 13.9% alcohol.  Mint, leather, herbs, spice, herbal, black currants, anise, black fruit, some red fruit around the edges, nicely done for a $14ish Cabernet!

All in all, a lovely evening catching up with old friends and making some new ones.  It’s always great to meet new people, and I love the feeling that when we go out to CA we have so many folks to visit, yet we aren’t even from Northern California (though Matt is from Southern California….).

Revisting Coral Mustang Rose

I’ve written about Coral Mustang’s Rose before, over a year ago.  You can read those notes here. However, when I was out in California for the Wine Blogger Conference, I finally got to meet Penny, the winemaker and owner. We’d been trying to catch up for quite some time now, but always kept missing her.  I loved the bottle of Rose that I got from WineQ so much, that Penny brought one for me to take home with me! The is her 2006 Coral Mustang Tempranillo Rose.  I also just bought 2 cases of the 2005, that’s how much I love this Rose! It has a real cork closure, clock in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and can be purchased for $14.99.

I really just adore this Rose. I intend to serve some of the 2005 with my Turkey Dinner on Thursday. I think it will be well received, and I already know Matt loves it!

On the nose I found candied strawberries, bananas, roses, cranberries, raspberries, slight spice, and racy citrus. I enjoy the very fruity qualities in the nose on this Rose.  In the mouth I got flavors of red apples, raspberries, lime, cranberry, tart fruit, raspberry jello, and a nice hint of spice on the back palate. It’s even better than I remember!

I’m not really one for Thanksgiving wine matching posts, but you may have noticed that I note around this time of year if I think a wine would work well with Thanksgiving dinner.  The Coral Mustang Rose gets my stamp of approval for Thanksgiving for several reasons. It’s budget friendly. You can get the 2005 for $12 a bottle and the 2006 for $14.99. I tend not to want to serve super expensive bottles of wine with Thanksgiving dinner, because really, at Thanksgiving, the food is king, and there’s so much of it and it’s so diverse, that I don’t think there’s a “perfect” wine to go with it all. I look for wines with refreshing acidity, good structure, and lighter fruit flavors.  The 2006 Coral Mustang Rose certainly fits that bill!

Twisted Tempranillo

Twisted Oak wines seem to be pouring into my basement from all directions! Not only am I a Twisted Few member, but these sneaky wines seem to make it into my WineQ Q almost every shipment! This particular bottle, the 2004 Twisted Oak Tempranillo came to us via WineQ. I purchased it for $23.99 (free shipping), it clocked in at 13.9% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

On the nose I found cedar, dark fruit, blackberry, smoke, leather, vanilla, fireplace, raspberry, cherry, and anise. The nose was beautifully aromatic and I kept finding more aromas as I dipped my nose back into my glass. Per usual, Matt was done with this first glass before I even took a sip of mine!

In the mouth I got flavors of raspberry, cherry, spice, and anise. I was a bit surprised by all the red fruit in the mouth, after the nose I expected the wine to be darker and brooding! The fruit in the mouth was a bit sweet, but not in a bad way.

Overall, a good wine, and I look forward to trying the 2005 that arrived in my latest Twisted Few shipment!

Tempranillo (Tem prawn eee yo)

I purchased this wine a few months ago in a 6 pack of interesting wines I ordered from Domaine547 in my search for different things to review. The wine was a 2006 Dehesa Gago Tempranillo from Toro, Spain. The wine cost me $12.99 (a steal), had a real cork closure and clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume. I also want to try the Tinto de Toro that Domaine547 has available from the same producer!

The nose of the wine showed currants, dark cherries, and pepper. The nose was slightly sweet smelling and very fruity. In the mouth I found blueberry, currants, dark fruit, and spices.

Overall the wine was smooth and dark and very yum. We drank this by itself, but it seemed to lend itself well to being food friendly and could easily match with lots of different things. Especially at the price, this is a great every day wine for dinner!

The Rain In Spain Falls Gently On The Plains

The wine for the evening was a 2006 Gazur Tempranillo Ribera del Duero from the Compania de vinos Telmo Rodriguez. I purchased this bottle from Domaine547 for $14.99, it had a real cork closure, comes from Spain, and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume. I got the recommendation for this wine from Jill, the owner of Domaine547. She has yet to steer me wrong with a bottle, and I was again pleased with this wine.

On the nose I found blackberry, raspberry, other red fruits that I couldn’t place, spice, and leather. I almost swear I can smell the tannins on the nose of the wine! I also thought the nose had a very juicy aroma. In the mouth, the blackberries were the dominate fruit, big and juicy blackberries, as if I had picked them fresh from the farm. I almost thought I tasted a bit of blueberry after the wine had been in my glass for a while.

The wine had lots of fruit flavors, but also showed enough tannin that I think you could keep it around if you didn’t want to drink it right away, thought it is drinking very well now. The flavor profile seemed like a classic Tempranillo. I was impressed with the value of this wine, a very good buy for $14.99.

Hanging around the Domaine

*Disclaimer: I received this wine in a sample pack from Domaine547 for my review.

Domine 547 that is.

The wine was a 2003 Vinas del Cenit Tempranillo, Castilla y Leon, Spain. Specifically from Vino de la Tierra de Zamora. The bottle had a real cork closure and is available from Domaine 547 for $19.99. Matt tossed the bottle before I could record the alcohol content, sorry folks. It’s actually made from 100% Tempranillo grapes, which might be a first for me, many have something else blended in!

On the nose the wine was smoky with blackberries and black currants being the predominant fruits that showed through. The blackberry was big and jumped out of the glass. I also found spices, espresso, and bitter chocolate. The nose was very complex and once again Matt tried to steal the wine away from me! In the mouth the wine was silky. Blackberries, black cherries, anise, dark chocolate, and coffee came through in the flavor of the wine.

The smokiness of the wine was very unique. It was apparent in both the mouth and nose and added a very intriguing element to the the wine. Although the wine is drinking beautifully now, I think it could still have some time in the cellar and be even better. At such a low price from Domaine 547, this is an excellent bargain, especially since I see it selling elsewhere around the internet for anywhere from $30-$50!!

For the second time in recent memory I felt like I should be wearing a smoking jacket while drinking this wine, making deals in a back room. It was dark with lots of depth. And it just so happened that I was actually wearing the sweater that I refer to as my smoking jacket the night we drank this bottle! So I made Matt take a picture of me for you, the only thing missing is my computer which he made me put down for the picture.

Visiting Argentina (Through Wine)

I picked up this bottle of 2004 Barricas Tempranillo from Chronicle Wine Cellar in Pasadena. It had a real cork closure, cost $6.95 and was 13% alcohol by volume. At this price point, I thought this wine was a fairly good value, though I’m not terribly familiar with Tempranillos, so don’t have much to judge it by. I believe I had one at a Best Cellars tasting and I wasn’t impressed. This one, for $6.95 was definitely drinkable and I thought it had good characteristics.

On the nose there was leather, undertones of bosenberry and a distinct barnyard aroma. I picked up on that when I opened the bottle, but didn’t want to prejudice anyone who was drinking the wine so didn’t say anything until everyone was drinking and laughing at me as I tokk notes. (Matt’s friends from home again.) Then I said “barnyard” and they laughed even more until one finally stuck his nose in the glass and said “It is like a barnyard!” In the mouth I would describe this wine as being full of juicy fruit, mostly blackberry with hints of the leather from the nose. A tasty wine and one I wouldn’t hesitate to get again.