Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wine Country Oregon: Folin Cellars Tempranillo

We have visited Oregon before in the Wine Country series, but not for Tempranillo. If you can snag a bottle of this on short notice for the holiday feast, do so. If not, have it sometime during the winter, because Tempranillo is such a great wine for cold weather.

Harvested from Folin Cellars' 25-acre estate vineyard, the grapes that make up this wine are 100% Tempranillo. The 14-year-old vineyard is planted to five other grapes, too - Rhône and Spanish varieties - which do well in the warm days of southern Oregon.

This fine 2012 Tempranillo from the Rogue Valley, OR AVA carries 14.2% alcohol and retails for $32. There is no cork - the wine comes bottled under a glass stopper (Vino Seal Closure) for easy resealing. They like to say that this type of closure allows the wine to be presented the way winemaker Rob Folin intended it to be. They also like to say, "No cork, no worries."

I find extremely nice spice, cherries and plums on the brilliant nose and delightful palate. Tobacco and cinnamon add complexity to the really pure fruit. The soft tannins work joy as hard as they have to, so the sipping is easy with or without food. But you definitely want a wine like this with food. It goes great with holiday turkey and ham, by the way.

Folin Cellars has a few things to say about this wine and food. "Tempranillo is the most food friendly wine we produce," they note on the website. "Whether you are enjoying a hearty meatloaf or crab bisque, this wine will complement your meal. Try this wine with a winter vegetable hash of Yukon Gold potatoes, chanterelle mushrooms, acorn squash and shallots."