Wow! If you love Spanish wine, you must try this varietally correct Cal-Iberico version of the most widely planted grape in the world (of course 90% of it is in Spain). A touch of American oak make this a ringer for any Reserva Rioja or Ribera, but it's from Santa Barbara County and made by Greg Martellotto. This winemaker highlights sustainable vineyards and has a hands-off approach to winemaking. The fruit shines through with bright red raspberry, a touch of bittersweet chocolate, and fantastic fruit/acid balance.
50% of the net sales from this wine to Project Learn Belize, which is helping needy children in Dangriga, Belize and cross-cultural exchanges. Try this wine and gift it to your friends. Only 4 barrels produced.
Earth & Spicy
Hassenfeffer, Picante dishes
Leave it to California vintners to show what Tempranillo is like when it has not been brutalized and oxidized as they do in Spain. The color is light-to-medium garnet without signs of oxidation; medium bodied. At first the nose is a bit herbaceous but this fades, with an hour of air I found it like ripe-tomato and cassis with a touch of oak and a bit of alcohol. It is a tart, acidic wine and not heavy on fruit, there's a firm backbone of tannins. At first it is frankly, a bit too tart and firm, with air it becomes a bit more harmonious. I can't endorse this wine it is too tart and the variety doesn't impress me but it is a heck of a lot better than the "famous" wines of the Rioja, which seem to be more highly rated as they are more severely abused, woody and funky.