Agent for Change Santa Ynez Valley Tempranillo 2010
Tempranillo from Central Coast, California
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.
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About Central Coast
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable Facts Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
1 rating, 1 with review
- Earth & Spicy
- Pair With
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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.