Tasting Notes: One of the original proponents of the classic tempranillo grape, Kim McPherson adds complexity by blending small amounts of graciano (16%) and carignan (3%). Fermenting in stainless steel preserves the purity of the fruit while aging in French oak for 11 months. Very integrated fruit with hints of dark fruit, plum and white pepper. Beautifully pairs with Texas beef off the grill!
Tasting Notes: Nolan Newsom . . . no, not that Newsom fella in California. This is the 8th-generation Texan, 3rd-generation grower who took the seed of growing grapes, not cotton, in the High Plains (3700 ft. elevation) from the first two acres of cab ever grown in 1986 to the 160 acres today, with over 19 varietals. This is their flagship and the only blend in his portfolio, Nolan’s version of the classic Bordeaux style. This vintage highlights syrah (48%) and sangiovese/tannat (40%) with small amounts of seven other varietals for complexity. Rich and full bodied, it starts out lush and finishes bone-dry. 30 months of oak aging helps smooth things out with a fruit-forward style. An end cut of prime rib, double baked potato, and a bottle of Inception — perfection!
Tasting Notes: Another smashing red from the 2016 vintage. A mix of vanilla, cocoa and tobacco, with lush tannins and oak that does not overwhelm the palate. Throw in a touch of earth and spice and you have the perfect wine for roast lamb.
Tasting Notes: A majority of the wine is produced from tempranillo, with merlot added to the blend. An excellent wine, the result of a collaboration between the Spanish owner and the well-regarded French winemaker, Michel Rolland. Quite dark in the glass, the nose and palate both possess dark fruit, with hints of spice and floral notes. Plenty of power and length on the finish.
Tasting Notes: One of the most iconic wineries in Rioja, Lopez de Heredia makes wines that age for many decades. Leather and spice on the nose, with gamy, elegant red fruit on the palate, and a tangy zip of acidity. The wine is lovely now and may very well outlive you.
Tasting Notes: By all accounts the 2016 vintage in Spain is the best in over 20 years. This tempranillo is exquisite, with light earth and spice, luscious deep berry, and smooth-but-firm tannins. Small production. Grab it if you can find it!
Tasting Notes: This Rioja rosé is a blend of 75% viura, 15% tempranillo and 10% garnacha. It is a bright-pink-to-salmon color in the glass with plenty of body for a Rosado-style wine. On the nose, slightly musky notes of flint and mineral are present with flecks of strawberry and other red fruits. The strawberry notes are confirmed on the palate and balanced by a clean, mineral and saline finish with some length. Great for spicy Asian cuisine or a grilled salmon salad.
Tasting Notes: 100% tempranillo and an outstanding cellar selection. Deep, intense, dark ruby layered with ripe blueberries, juicy plums and a hint of cinnamon, clove and mocha. Be sure to decant to enjoy a long, rich, smooth finish. One of those wines you just hate to finish the last sip. This wine screams for a good grilled steak, a chunk of hard cheese or a slab of dark chocolate. Enjoy now or cellar for the next 10 years.
Tasting Notes: If you have not heard yet, 2015 in Rioja was amazing. Yes, the stars aligned and produced what will no doubt become an epic vintage. The Roda Reserva is my cup of coffee in a wine glass. Yes, that sounds weird, but when a wine smells like a beautiful cup of dark roasted coffee, then why not. This new world expression of rioja is as good as it gets, with the espresso notes accompanied by lots of spice and dark fruit. The silky texture of this wine makes it even more of a winner.