Tempranillo

Twisted Oak, Tempranillo 2004

by Tim Elliott on December 29, 2006

One of the hazards of reviewing wines is to write about wines made by people you know. Most times this is manageable since you are not that close but for some reason I was nervous tasting this wine since I picked it up after being compelled by the winery’s owner. I shouldn’t have been that concerned since I could always pass on posting the review, but I would have to give my opinion at some point even in private.

Twisted Oak is an interesting winery for many reasons. First, it would seem to be run by either irreverent anarchists or the complete insane (or, perhaps, a bit of both). Their varietal line-up is right up my alley with Rhone and Spanish varietals. I picked up their Tempranillo at my favorite wine store, Solo Vino, so I shouldn’t have been too concerned to begin with as they only stock the best juice. I do have to say that Twisted Oak’s blog is among my favorite from any winery and I only hope they take up podcasting at some point (it would be a hoot in either audio or video).

Twisted Oak, Tempranillo, Calaveras County 2004 ($18) – Dark purple in color with aromas of black raspberry, licorice, earth and vanilla. In the mouth, there are blackberry, pepper and mint flavors with sweet tannins and a rich mouthfeel. Very much like Zinfandel which, of course, I love so. In a word, tasty.

Natural cork closure
13.9% ABV
Score 88

I’ve been tasting a lot of Spanish wines lately and really liking what I’ve found. After I reviewed Bodegas Abadia Retuerta’s Rívola a few weeks back, I was offered this sample by the winery’s U.S. importer. Since Tempranillo is also the wine of this evening’s Wine 2.0 virtual meet-up, I thought it would be appropriate to post my review.

Bodegas Abadia Retuerta, “Selección Especial”, Estate Grown, Castilla y León 2003 ($25/media sample) – A blend of 75% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot.

Very dark garnet with a purple rim. Aromas of black cherry, spice and vanilla. The wine has concentrated black cherry and currant flavors with black pepper, spice and nicely integrated tannins with a long finish. A nicely balanced and elegant expression of Tempranillo that I find delicious for current drinking but will reward another 4 or 5 years of cellaring. Like it’s little brother Rívola, this wine shows quite a bit of oak upon opening which nicely settles down into a supporting role once aerated. Decant before serving.

14% ABV
Natural cork closure
Score: 90

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Quick Picks 5 – Bodegas Borsao

by Tim Elliott on December 16, 2006

Another Quick Picks podcast highlighting two outstanding values from Spain’s Bodegas Borsao.

Show Notes:
00:13 – Bodegas Borsao background
00:51 – Bodegas Borsao, “Red Wineâ€Â? 2005 ($8)
01:29 – Bodegas Borsao, “Tres Picos“, Garnacha (Grenache) 2004 ($15)
02:01 – Next show theme

Feedback: winecast@gmail.com
Copyright 2006 Acan Media, Inc. Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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This bodega has over 200 hectares of vineyards in the Castilla y León region of northwest Spain. Castilla y León is the largest region of Spain and the largest in the entire European Union. It was formed in 1983 but the tradition of viticulture goes back to the middle ages. Aside from wine, Castilla y León is known for it’s castles which rival those of Bavaria.

Bodegas Abadía Retuerta, “Rívola”, Sardon de Duero, Castilla y León 2003 ($14) – A blend of 60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby in color with pronounced aromas of vanilla, blackberry and clove. Raspberry and blackberry fruit with black pepper, spice and dusty tannins complete the package. Nice rich mouthfeel. Might have a little too much wood for some, but it took me back to wines I loved in the past with such a defect and was much less noticeable after some air.

13.5% ABV
Natural cork closure
Score: 87

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