“Tempranillo is Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon; it is the variety that puts the spine in a high proportion of Spain’s most respected red wines.”
- Oxford Companion to Wine
The Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County is cooled by the nearby Monterey Bay. Wind and fog moderate and extend the growing season, resulting in fruit of superior flavor and balance.
The fruit for this bottling is sourced from the Riverbank vineyard located in Arroyo Seco, where daytime temperatures reach the mid 80’s. This vineyard is cooled by fog and wind drawn in from the cold waters of the Monterey Bay.
The 2017 vintage commenced with a refreshingly wet winter with rainfall totals about 40% above average, flushing vineyard soils of built up salts, and promoting healthy root and cover crop growth in the early season. Bud break occurred in mid-March and fruit set in mid-May. The winter’s rains deferred the need to irrigate until June in many areas, but also required heavy shoot thinning, leafing, and hedging, as vine canopies were quite vigorous. Temperatures were average through August, though September saw three heat waves, making picking decisions challenging and fruit sorting imperative. The hard work resulted in wines with a rich fruit core, underlaid by an elegance from the early- and mid-season cool temperatures.
The grapes were hand sorted in the vineyard and again at the winery before being completely de-stemmed. Whole berries were fermented in small open-top tanks. Gentle punch downs provide for optimum extraction while maintaining an elegantly structured wine. The wine was aged for ten months in 20% new French oak.
The 2017 Tempranillo has a beautiful reddish purple color with aromas of raspberry candy, potpourri, and black pepper. On the palate it displays lingering flavors of black fruits and savory spice with bright acidity. This is a medium to full bodied wine - delicious by itself or paired with full-flavored grilled meats and vegetables.