Booker Vineyard Tempranillo 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Along with Epoch, Jensen makes one of the finest Tempranillo out there. The 2017 Tempranillo offers terrific blue fruits, pepper, violets, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied, with remarkable purity, plenty of classic Tempranillo tannins, and a great finish. It has upfront charm given its balance, yet I suspect it will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age.
Deep glistening ruby. Primary, mineral-tinged black and blue fruits, potpourri, exotic spices and a hint of pipe tobacco on the deeply perfumed nose. Sweet, impressively concentrated blueberry, cherry cola and fruitcake flavors spread out steadily on the palate, picking up a suggestion of smokiness on the back half. Plush and seamless in texture, finishing with superb persistence and smooth tannins that contribute framework and gentle grip. This is as fine an example of the variety as I have ever had from outside Spain.
The deep ruby-purple colored 2017 Tempranillo, aged in 70% new French oak, is scented of sour cherries, old leather, grilled meats, woodsmoke, tar and loamy earth with a bacon fat note and touches of violet, bramble and mint. The palate is full-bodied and explodes with savory flavor layers, firmly framed and with just enough freshness, finishing long.
The name Booker comes from the two orphan brothers Claude and Dick Booker who had owned the land, as well as hundreds more acres on Paso's Westside. The Booker brothers were Paso's favorite sons, dedicating their lives to being great farmers and humanitarians. Aside from lending their farming knowledge and manual labor to neighbors and those in need, they were the area's biggest philanthropists, leaving 100% of their estate to charity when they passed.
At Booker Vineyard we have dedicated our lives to farming perfection. We are constantly striving to find perfect balance in our vineyard through sustainable farming practices and methods. Beginning in the spring of 2010 we began our venture into the world of Biodynamics. Our wines are always 100% estate fruit and are a true reflection of the calcareous and salicious shale hillsides provided by our Westside Paso Robles vineyard.
Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, powerful, fruit-driven wines. But with eleven smaller sub-AVAs, there is actually quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.
Just east over the Santa Lucia Mountains from the chilly Pacific Ocean, lie the coolest in the region: Adelaida, Templeton Gap and (Paso Robles) Willow Creek Districts, as well as York Mountain AVA and Santa Margarita Ranch. These all experience more ocean fog, wind and precipitation compared to the rest of the Paso sub-appellations. The San Miguel, (Paso Robles) Estrella, (Paso Robles) Geneso, (Paso Robles) Highlands, El Pomar and Creston Districts, along with San Juan Creek, are the hotter, more western appellations of the greater Paso Robles AVA.
This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Grenache and Rhône blends, both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruit-driven, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.
Notoriously food-friendly, long-lasting and Spain’s most widely planted grape, Tempranillo is the star variety of red wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The Rioja terms Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva indicate both barrel and bottle time before release. Traditionally blended in Rioja with Garnacha, plus a bit of Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano, the Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero typically stands alone. Somm Secret—Tempranillo claims many different names depending on location. In Penedès, it is called Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Known as Tinta Roriz in Portugal, Tempranillo plays an important role in Port wine.