3/24/2016

Tempranillo Flight: Lee Family Farm, Irwin Family Vineyards, and Six Sigma Ranch

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who appreciates the liquid expression of place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages out there. It is an area of interest that you never run out of new things to taste and learn.



The wines selected for this post are all California wines made from the Tempranillo grape variety. An important grape to Spain, particularly Rioja and Ribera del Duero; Tempranillo is the sixth most widely planted grape variety in the world. It is a versatile variety that is capable of producing a wide range of styles, from fresh and easy-drinking, to highly concentrated, dense, and well-structured. The three examples featured in this post are expressive, limited-production wines that are well worth seeking out. They are all wonderful food wines and great partners with grilled fare. For further information and where you can find these wines, see my tasting notes below.

Lee Family Farm Arroyo Seco 2013 Tempranillo

Lee Family Farm Arroyo Seco 2013 Tempranillo (SRP $20): Lee Family Farm is a second label from Morgan Winery, created to explore alternative red & white varieties in an approachable, food-friendly fashion. The fruit for this bottling was sourced from Ventana Vineyard in Central Monterey County. Garnet-red in color, this medium-to-full bodied wine boasts aromas and flavors of purple stone fruit and black cherries mixed with barrel spice, anise, and dried herbs. It is expansive and slightly rich in the mouth, with adequate acidity and refined tannins that melt into a satisfying, medium-long textured finish. This enjoyable wine would be a nice addition to any dinner table. Only 99 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Arroyo Seco, Monterey Country, California. Other info: ABV 14.4%, 10 months aging in 27% new French oak, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine.

Irwin Family Vineyards 2012 Piedra Roja Block 22 Tempranillo

Irwin Family Vineyards 2012 Piedra Roja Block 22 Tempranillo (SRP $34): Irwin Family Vineyards specializes in Spanish-inspired wines produced from California-grown fruit. Their specialty is Tempranillo and Verdejo. This wine is deep ruby in color with lifted aromas and flavors of purple stone fruit, black cherry, blueberry, and spices that give way to firm tannins and a long, fruit-driven finish. Overall, a deliciously robust wine that stays light on its feet thanks to a fine backbone of acidity. It begs for grilled meats, particularly a well-marbled rib-eye. Only 60 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Sierra Foothills, California. Other info: ABV 13.8%, matured in large format oak barrels for 32 months – 95% FR & 5% AM, matured in bottle 2 years, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

Six Sigma Ranch 2012 Reserve Tempranillo

Six Sigma Ranch 2012 Reserve Tempranillo (SRP $48): Located in Lake County, California, Six Sigma Winery is situated on a 4,300 acre historic cattle ranch and specializes in small-lot, high quality wines. Still young but with good potential, this wine is masculine and robust, with excellent density and grainy tannins framing a concentrated core of dark skinned and [dried] red berry fruit flavors that are held together on a backbone of firm acidity. Dusty earth notes linger on the long, chewy finish. If you are looking for a wine that begs to be paired with grilled red meats, then look no further than this Lake County Tempranillo. With that being said, this is a wine that will reward patient cellaring; so get a few bottles to enjoy now, and a few bottles to stash away in a cool, dark place. Approximately 284 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Lake County, California. Other info: ABV 14.1%, 100% estate-grown, 24 months maturation in new French oak, cork enclosure. Click here to find this wine. 

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

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